Raising Gastric Cancer Awareness This November


With the potential to arise almost anywhere in the body, cancer is a serious condition that stems from uncontrolled and abnormal cellular growth. Per the American Cancer Society, nearly 26,000 new gastric cancer cases develop each year. Gastric cancer, or stomach cancer, accounts for approximately 1.5% of initial cancer diagnoses in the country. With November being the dedicated National Gastric Cancer Awareness Month, Colorado Gastroenterology wants to inform the community on the signs and symptoms of gastric cancer and how this concerning disease might be treated.

In the event you or someone you love receives a gastric cancer diagnosis, it's important to seek out a local gastrointestinal (GI) doctor to ensure you get the expert treatment you need. Get in touch with Colorado Gastroenterology in Denver, CO today to learn more.

What is gastric cancer?

The stomach is located in the upper abdominal area where the foods you eat are stored and processed. When cancer arises within the internal membrane of any part of the stomach, it is diagnosed as stomach cancer or gastric cancer. Even though cancer can develop in any area of the stomach, among U.S. patients, the disease is most commonly found at the gastroesophageal junction, or where the esophagus connects with the stomach. While stomach cancer has been decreasing in the United States, it remains a major cause of cancer deaths around the world.

Know the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

Cancer of the stomach is slow growing and could take a year or longer to develop. Since stomach cancer is not all that prevalent in the U.S. population, there are no main medical groups that suggest periodic assessments for individuals with an average risk. Early stomach cancer often does not show any obvious signs or symptoms, but individuals who do report symptoms might experience:

  • Decreased appetite

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Swelling in the abdomen

  • Acid reflux

  • Abdominal pain

  • Ongoing queasiness

Should you or a family member notice any one of these symptoms, it is important to seek professional help from a Denver, CO digestive health specialist for expert care. Get in touch with Colorado Gastroenterology to meet with a GI doctor as soon as possible.

What are the risk factors for gastric cancer?

Certain patients have a higher probability of developing cancer of the stomach. In some instances, these risk factors include hereditary conditions, such as Lynch syndrome. This particular health issue also elevates the chance of colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Additional factors that can increase the risk of gastric cancer are:

  • Being over the age of 55

  • Being a smoker

  • Previous stomach surgery

  • Work-related exposure

  • Being of the male gender

  • Family history of gastric cancer

  • Being overweight

  • Drinking alcohol

If you have a higher likelihood of developing gastric cancer, please speak with one of our Denver, CO gastrointestinal specialists to learn about having routine stomach cancer screenings, like an upper endoscopy. You can set up an upper endoscopy and speak with a GI doctor by contacting Colorado Gastroenterology.

What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?

Cancer of the stomach is generally addressed with a surgical procedure. Once the malignant tissue is eliminated, radiation and chemotherapy may also be carried out to ensure the cancer is less likely to return. In general, there are three predominant surgical options for removing cancerous tissue in the stomach:

  • Subtotal (or partial) gastrectomy: With this surgical approach, a portion of the stomach is removed, and the surrounding structures are reconnected. This surgery may also include taking out neighboring lymph nodes or other tissue.

  • Total gastrectomy: With this type of gastric cancer surgery, the entire stomach and surrounding lymph nodes are taken out, and a new stomach is rebuilt from part of the small intestine.

  • Endoscopic mucosal resection: During this procedure, a flexible tube known as an endoscope is used to excise (remove) the cancerous mass in the stomach.

Find expert care for gastric cancer in Denver, CO

All during the month of November, we are dedicated to spreading awareness of stomach cancer and its impacts on patient health. If you or a family member may have stomach cancer, it is important to know that expert treatment is close at hand. Colorado Gastroenterology is a physician-led organization of gastrointestinal experts and an esteemed establishment in the field of gastroenterology. Get in touch with our facility in Denver, CO for more on how a GI specialist can help address your digestive health needs.