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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Stomach Cancer: Treatment & Monitoring
      Category : Health Centers > Cancers and Tumors

Stomach Cancer

Alternate Names : Gastric Cancer

Stomach Cancer | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What are the treatments for the disease?

If the disease is found early, surgery to remove all of the cancer and some surrounding tissue can be performed. Sometimes chemotherapy or radiation therapy is given before surgery to shrink the tumor. Chemotherapy and radiation are sometimes offered after surgery to help prevent recurrence. Surgery to bypass advanced cancer can relieve symptoms of nausea. Chemotherapy or radiation therapy may also shrink uncomfortable tumors in people with advanced cancers. Advanced stomach cancer is not curable.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

Removing most of the affected stomach may mean the person will have to permanently modify the diet. Many patients will experience dumping syndrome, which is sweating and weakness after eating. Small, frequent meals are recommended. Side effects of chemotherapy are significant but manageable. The specific side effects vary according the medication given. Radiation therapy to the area can cause diarrhea and increased nausea. This is generally manageable and will resolve when treatment ends.

What happens after treatment for the disease?

The person will be monitored to determine the response of the cancer to treatment. If the cancer was completely removed, the person will be monitored over time to determine if the cancer returns. If the cancer returns or progresses, different therapy can try to improve quality of life. Treatment at this point will not cure the cancer.

How is the disease monitored?

CT scans are used to monitor the spread of the disease to other organs such as the liver. CT scans can also be used to evaluate response of the cancer to treatment.

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Stomach Cancer: Prevention & Expectations


Author: Miriam P. Rogers, EdD, RN, AOCN, CNS
Reviewer: Fern Carness, RN, MPH
Date Reviewed: 06/01/01

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