Gastric cancer ranks 5th among all cancers seen in the world, and 3rd in cancer-related deaths. According to the data of the Turkey Repuplic's Ministry of Health, approximately 13 thousand people are diagnosed with stomach cancer every year and 10700 people die in Turkey Repuplic.
The disease is seen about 2 times more often in men than in women. It is suggested that estrogen hormone in women protects against stomach cancer. In addition, the fact that smoking is more common in men may be related to this. In gastric cancer, where family history is also important, the disease is more common with advanced age. 6 out of 10 patients are older than 65 years. In addition, it has been shown that Helicobacter pylori bacteria, which causes ulcers in the stomach, cause stomach cancer in the long term. However, this is; It should not mean that every patient with this bacteria in his stomach will have stomach cancer. Although it is seen at a high rate of 60% in our country, gastric cancer is detected in only 1-3% of these patients. Treatment of this bacterium reduces the risk of stomach cancer. In addition, chronic gastritis and stomach polyps are other risk factors. Especially in patients with chronic gastritis, if Helicobacter pylori is detected, treatment for the bacteria should be done. Because gastric cancer may occur on the basis of chronic gastritis. In addition to these, salty, smoked and barbecued foods; processed meats such as salami and sausages; foods containing aflatoxins (toxins produced by some types of molds); Smoking and alcohol consumption are other factors that increase the risk.
Symptoms: The disease usually does not give any symptoms in the early period. As it grows and progresses, bloating in the abdomen, nausea, early satiety, feeling of heaviness in the stomach area, pain in the stomach area after meals and indigestion can be the first symptoms. If the cancer is where the stomach meets the esophagus, difficulty in swallowing may develop. Weight loss and loss of appetite are usually late symptoms. Bleeding from the tumor and associated anemia can also be seen, especially in the late period. If these symptoms, which are seen in almost everyone, are ignored and neglected, there is a delay in the feeling of fever and treatment.
Definitive treatment of stomach cancer is possible with surgery. Chemotherapy, which was given after surgery in the past, is now applied before surgery depending on the prevalence of the disease. If the disease exceeds the stomach wall, treatment is first started with chemotherapy. Depending on the response from the treatment, surgery is applied. In some cases, radiotherapy, known as radiation therapy, may also be required. There are also positive results in stomach cancer from different drug treatments such as smart drugs and immunotherapy. One of the innovations in the field of surgery; It is the simultaneous D2 lymph node dissection with the removal of the stomach. In other words, it is the process of removing the lymph node stations around the stomach. By removing the lymph nodes, which may be the possible spread of stomach cancer, the risk of recurrence or spread of the disease after surgery is reduced. Scientific studies also; D2 lymph node dissection in gastric cancer has been shown to prolong the life of the patient.
The 5-year survival rate for all stages is 32 percent. In the early stages, this rate rises to 70%.
Stomach cancer usually does not show symptoms in the early stages. Developing complaints are ignored at first and underestimated, and the application to the physician is delayed. Patients usually apply in advanced stages. However, if the diagnosis is made in the early period, the chance of treatment is much higher.
We need to know that; Stomach cancer is a preventable disease. Together with the precautions we will take in our nutrition and living habits, we reduce our risk by quitting smoking and making exercise continuous. In addition, we should definitely consult a doctor when we have stomach complaints for the early detection of the disease. If we are over the age of 50, even if we have no complaints, we should definitely have an endoscopy for the stomach.
Ass. Prof. Dr Oktay KARAKOSE
General Surgery & Oncology Surgery Specialist
Telephone: +90 530 324 55 32
Adress: Derebahce Mahallesi. Bahcivan Sokak. No: 3/3 Ilkadim / Samsun / Turkey