An adenocarcinoma is cancer of your stomach. While there are many types of stomach cancer, adenocarcinoma is the most common. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is believed that more than 90 percent of stomach cancers are caused by an adenocarcinoma. Diagnosing the disease early can be problematic as it may be many years before you become symptomatic. There are several risk factors that can contribute to the disease, such as infection with the bacterium Helicobactor pylori. Treatments of the disease can very depending on how far advanced your cancer is.
According to the Merck Manuals Online Medical Library, it is believed that the occurrence of a H. pylori infection has contributed to many cases of stomach cancer. H. pylori is a type of bacteria that can be spread through saliva, water contamination and fecal matter. Because H. pylori is a hearty and well-adapted bacteria, the eradication of H. pylori can be difficult. As a result of an H. pylori infection, your stomach will suffer from chronic inflammation, polyps and ulcers. Over time, the development of adenocarcinoma will result.
Bad dietary habits can contribute to the development of andenocarcinoma. A diet low in fruits and vegetables, or high in salt and fatty processed foods, can lead to health problems. Other contributing factors include smoking, heredity and anemia. Sodium nitrates, which can be found in processed meats, also have been linked to the development of adenocarcinoma.
In the early stage of adenocarinoma, your symptoms may mimic the symptoms of a peptic ulcer. You may feel a painful burning sensation within your abdomen that transfers to your upper chest. It is also common to feel severe abdominal cramping that may not dissipate. You also may feel full before finishing a meal, even if the meal is small. Anemia may result from bleeding within your stomach or due to your body's inability to properly absorb the vitamin B12. The vitamin B12 is essential for the formation of your red blood cells.
Seeing a Doctor
If you begin to experience severe nausea and vomiting, weight loss, chronic heartburn or indigestion, it is important to see a specialist. Suffering from these symptoms for a persistent amount of time is abnormal. Other warning signs can include vomiting blood, developing jaundice or having stools that appear tarry or black.
Many tests will be performed to detect stomach cancer. According to Merck, if the disease has progressed far enough, your physician will be able to detect a large mass within your abdomen when pressing on your stomach. CT scans, X-rays, biopsies and barium X-rays are used to confirm the disease. When you have been diagnosed, the stage of your cancer will be evaluated and a course of treatment will be given.
Treatment depends on how advanced your adenocarinoma is. Your physician may choose to remove tumors if they are small enough. A gastrectomy can be performed if there is a substantial amount of cancer located within your stomach. Only the portion of stomach afflicted with the disease will be removed. A total gastrectomy will be performed if your entire stomach is affected. Other treatments will include radiation and chemotherapy, which kill cancer cells.
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