Stomach cancer or gastric cancer is the growth of cancerous cells within the lining of the stomach. It is rare cancer and is difficult to diagnose. At an early stage, the symptoms of stomach cancer are mostly not visible and stay undiagnosed till it has spread to other parts of the body.
Medical tourism is a growing sector in India, with tourist coming from across the globe to get various types of medical facilities. The main magnetism for medical tourist coming to India is the quality healthcare, which is available at affordable prices, with no waitlist. Most of the Indian doctors are famed throughout the world for their commitment and skills. Majority of the hospitals in India are offering international facilities with cutting-edge diagnostic methods and advanced technology for all type of oncology procedures.
The cost of stomach cancer in India along with the excellence of treatment and aftercare provided are comparable with few of the most popular medical tourism destinations like Singapore, Turkey, and Hungary. Stomach cancer surgery cost in India along with the chemotherapy and radiation, accommodation is almost less than one-sixth when compared with the treatment cost offered in US or UK.
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is the fifth most common cancer worldwide. This disease is a result of the growth of cancerous and malignant cells in the inner lining of the stomach.
Stomach cancer does not grow overnight as this disease usually grows slowly over many years. Some pre-cancerous changes take place before true cancer actually develops. But these early changes rarely result in any symptoms and therefore, often go undetected in the early stage when it is most easy to treat it.
Gastric cancer can grow through the wall of the stomach and invade nearby organs. It can easily spread to the lymph vessels and lymph nodes. In an advanced stage, it can travel through the bloodstream and spread or metastasize to organs such as the liver, lungs, and bones. Usually, people diagnosed with stomach cancer have either experienced metastasis already or eventually develop it.
Stomach cancer should not be confused with other cancers in the abdomen or esophageal cancer. Some other cancer can also occur in the abdomen, including cancer of the large and small intestine, liver or pancreas. These cancers may have different symptoms, outlook, and options for treatment.
Some other types of stomach cancers include squamous and small cell carcinoma and leiomyosarcoma. These cancers are very rare.
There is no single, definite cause behind stomach cancer. However, several stomach cancer risk factors have been identified that could potentially lead to the formation to a tumor in the stomach. Some of these stomach cancer causes or risk factors include:
There can be several early stomach cancer symptoms. However, the signs of stomach cancer could be present because of some other underlying condition as well. Unfortunately, this is the main reason why it is difficult to make stomach cancer diagnosis at an early stage.
Some of the early stomach cancer symptoms may include:
But just experiencing indigestion or heartburn after a meal does not really mean that you have cancer. Although, if you experience these symptoms a lot, talk to your doctor, who can decide whether to conduct further tests or not.
As advanced gastric cancer grow, you may experience more serious signs of stomach cancer, including the following:
There are many options for stomach cancer treatment. Your specialist will choose the most appropriate treatment plan for you, depending on the stage of your cancer.
Most often, a combination of the following stomach cancer treatment options is used to remove tumor:
Stage 0 stomach cancer treatment: It is mostly treated with the help of an endoscopic surgery.
Stage 1 stomach cancer treatment: It is mostly treated with the help of an endoscopic surgery, followed up with a few session of chemotherapy. Sometimes, the surgeon may advise you to undergo a few session of chemotherapy before the surgery as well.
Stage 2 stomach cancer treatment: Surgery is the main treatment option followed by chemotherapy. If you decide against the surgery, a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be used.
Stage 3 stomach cancer treatment: A few cycles of chemotherapy are conducted before the surgery, followed up with a surgery. Following the surgery, a few cycles of chemotherapy are repeated, followed by radiation therapy.
Stage 4 stomach cancer treatment: Chemotherapy is the main treatment option for such patients. A surgery can be conducted to control the symptoms. Radiotherapy could be used if needed to relieve symptoms.
Recovery after stomach cancer treatment can take a long time. You may need special palliative care to manage the discomforting symptoms such as extreme pain. With constant support from the doctors, friends, nurses and family members, the health eventually feels better and you are able to experience an improved quality of life.
You may not be able to eat properly or by your own immediately after the surgery. However, you are able to return back to your normal routine in a few days. Planning and managing regular chemotherapy visits after the surgery can be difficult.
Discuss with your doctor about specific side effects that you are likely to face after chemotherapy. The doctor will give you specific medications that will help relieve specific symptoms such as nausea, weakness, vomiting, joint pain, and headache.
There are no specific causes of stomach cancer however there are certain risk factors that may affect the chance of someone getting a disease such as cancer. Certain risk factors can be controlled eg. smoking. However, some risk factors cannot be controlled. Below are some of the major risk factors for stomach cancer:
Other than the above there can be a host of other controllable as well as uncontrollable risk factors- smoking or use of tobacco, obesity, improper diet, exposure of asbestos just to name a few.
There are various approaches to stomach cancer treatment in India, some of the prominent ones being:
Surgery: It is the most common type of treatment for stomach cancer however the type of surgery depends upon the extent of cancer. There are two major types of surgeries namely:
Chemotherapy: In this procedure, anti-cancerous drugs are entered in the bloodstream, by injecting them (and some by mouth) to kill cancer cells. In most cases, people are given chemotherapy after their surgery. Chemotherapy might also be given in conjunction with Radiation therapy. This procedure also has its side-effects that can depend on the specific drugs and its doses.
Radiation Therapy: In this procedure, the treated area is subjected to high-energy rays to kill the cancer cells. Usually done in the hospital or clinic requiring a patient’s visit for five days a week for several weeks.
The cost of stomach cancer treatment in India starts from around USD 5,500. However, there are various factors affecting the cost of stomach cancer treatment.
Some of the major factors that determine the cost of stomach cancer treatment in India are:
Mentioned below is some of the best hospitals for stomach cancer treatment in India:
Below is the list of some of the best surgeons for stomach cancer treatment in India:
The success rate of stomach cancer treatment depends on various factors, the most important being the stage of cancer. If the cancer is in its early stage and/ or is caught early then the success rate is high. On the other hand, the recovery chances are next to impossible if cancer has spread beyond the lining or to the lymph nodes. Some dietary changes are also required to be made when the body is in the recovery stage.
The recovery process for a patient who has recently undergone a stomach cancer treatment is critical. It is very important for the patients to receive proper post-treatment care and visit the doctor for timely check-ups. Regular follow-ups become a crucial part of the post-treatment recovery. Owing to the tendency of the disease to return, regular monitoring by the doctor is done to identify the recurrence of cancerous cells or in case any undetected cancerous cells remain in the body. Doctors also advise stopping the usage of tobacco and alcohol consumption for at least a certain period of time. An average time period based on a study report is between one to four years for a full recovery.
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