Esophageal And Stomach Cancer – FAQs

Esophageal And Stomach Cancer: FAQs

Radiation Therapy Treatment in Orange County, CA

At Orange County CyberKnife, we believe there’s always hope in the fight against cancer no matter how dire the situation may seem. As a leading provider of radiation therapy treatments in the Orange County area, we’re proud to help our patients battle cancer every day, and we strive to make the treatment process convenient and comfortable for our patients. No matter what treatment you and your doctor choose, the first step to recovery is education – and here are a few answers to some common questions on esophageal and stomach cancer.

Common Questions About Esophageal & Lung Cancer

Answer :

Stomach cancer refers to any cancerous tumor or growth that begins in the cells of the stomach. Stomach cancer is a rare condition, and because it produces few symptoms, it often isn’t diagnosed until later stages, which makes it harder to cure. However, treatment is always possible, and even late-stage stomach cancer can be treated in some cases

Answer :

As with most cancers, the exact causes of stomach cancer aren’t well understood. However, research has identified a number of risk factors which, if present, increase the likelihood of someone contracting stomach cancer. These include:

  • Diet: Generally, diets high in sodium and starch and low in fiber are at a higher risk for stomach cancer.
  • Tobacco & Alcohol: Anyone who smokes a pack or more of cigarettes a day or takes two or more alcoholic drinks a day is at a higher risk for stomach cancer.
  • Weight: Obesity increases the risk for stomach cancer.
  • Age: People over age 50 are more likely to develop stomach cancer.
  • Genetics: People whose nuclear family members have had stomach cancer are at an increased risk.
  • Stomach Ulcers: The bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, called helicobacter pylori, increases the risk of stomach cancer.
  • Certain Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as pernicious anemia and Menetrier disease, increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Answer :

As with many forms of cancer, stomach cancer often doesn’t produce symptoms until a late stage. However, if it is symptomatic, signs may include:

  • Sudden, unexplained weight loss
  • Pain in the abdomen or above the belly button
  • Digestive problems
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • General fatigue or weakness
  • Blood in the stool or vomit
  • Feeling very full after eating only a small amount
Answer :

Your doctor will rely on a physical exam, your family and personal medical history, and a number of tests to diagnose stomach cancer:

  • Biopsy
  • Upper GI series
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Fecal occult blood test
Answer :

Treatment options vary widely from patient to patient, and your own treatment will depend on the specifics of your condition. However, some of the most common treatments for esophageal and stomach cancer includes:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Radiation Therapy (such as CyberKnife)
Answer :

Getting a second opinion is recommended for most patients – in fact, some insurance policies require a second opinion before starting treatment. It is within your rights to get a second opinion whether you act on it or not. There are a number of options for finding a cancer doctor for a second opinion:

  • Ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a specialist such as a radiation oncologist, surgeon, or medical oncologist.
  • Call the National Cancer Institute’s Cancer Information Service at (800) 4-CANCER (800-422-6237) and ask for a reference to a treatment facility.
  • Contact your local medical society, a nearby hospital, a medical school, or a cancer support group and ask for a reference.

Remember – getting a second opinion is within your rights as a patient, and you should never be afraid to ask for a second opinion. Second opinions are a standard part of the cancer treatment process and can help shed new light on your condition and treatment options. At Orange County CyberKnife, we’re always happy to provide a second opinion – just call us at 714.962.7100 to schedule an appointment.

Answer :

Depending on the severity of your cancer, your doctor may recommend a partial or whole gastrectomy. In a partial gastrectomy, a surgeon removes only part of your stomach, while in a whole gastrectomy, you’ll have all of your stomach removed. Surprisingly, the dietary restrictions you’ll face after stomach cancer surgery aren’t as extreme as you may think. After the recovery period, people who have a partial gastrectomy can often eat almost the same as they did before the surgery – although some changes may be required. After a whole gastrectomy, you may have to take nutrition through a feeding tube during the recovery period. However, after healing, you’ll be able to chew and swallow food the same as you did before. Many patients find they prefer to eat smaller, more frequent meals, and you may have to make some dietary changes. However, you’ll still be able to eat and enjoy food as a part of life even after a whole gastrectomy.

Schedule a Consultation with Your Orange County Cancer Center

A stomach or esophageal cancer diagnosis can be scary, but it’s never something you have to face alone. Contact us today to learn more about your treatment options and schedule a consultation for treatment. We’ll help you choose a treatment plan that works for you, support you through the process, and help you beat your cancer. We look forward to hearing from you.