Stomach cancer, also called
gastric cancer, is a cancer that starts in the lining of the stomach. It usually grows
slowly over many years.
Types of stomach cancers
Different types of stomach cancer include adenocarcinoma, which includes
90 percent to 95 percent of cancers of the stomach. These cancers develop
from the cells that form the innermost lining of the stomach (known as the
mucosa). Lymphomas are cancers of the immune system tissue that are sometimes
found in the wall of the stomach Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST)
are rare tumors that start in very early forms of specialized cells in
the wall of the stomach called
interstitial cells of Cajal. Although GISTs can be found anywhere in the digestive tract, most are
found in the stomach. Carcinoid tumors are tumors that start in hormone-making
cells of the stomach. Most of these tumors do not spread to other organs
and can be observed if small.
Upper endoscopy (also called
esophagogastroduodenoscopy orEGD) is the primary test used to find stomach cancer. It may be used when
someone has certain risk factors or when signs and symptoms suggest this
cancer may be present.
During this procedure, the gastroenterologist advances a thin, flexible,
lighted tube with a small video camera on the end, into your mouth and
down your esophagus. This lets the doctor see the lining of your esophagus,
stomach, and first part of the small intestine. If abnormal areas are
seen or cancer is suspected, biopsies (tissue samples) can be taken using
instruments passed through the endoscope.
Jupiter Medical Center offers treatment for cancers of the stomach at all
stages. Our multidisciplinary approach ensures that every patient receives
a customized treatment plan. Our surgeons collaborate with experts in
advanced gastroenterology, who perform an endoscopic ultrasound and needle
biopsy, if indicated, to ensure an accurate staging determination.
Staging for gastric cancer determines the role for chemotherapy, either
before or after surgery. Once this thorough evaluation is complete, our
surgeons collaborate with colleagues in medical oncology to construct
a treatment plan that will help ensure the best possible outcome.
Subtotal or total gastrectomy
In patients with tumors that are located in a higher position, the majority
of the stomach or the entire stomach may need to be resected to ensure
that the cancer is completely removed with surrounding lymph nodes. The
downstream intestine is then reattached to the stomach remnant, allowing
normal food intake and digestion. Each of our patients receives a thorough
consultation with a certified nutritionist prior to discharge home to
ensure they learn how to maintain a healthy diet following subtotal or
In certain cases where the cancer is early stage, or is a less aggressive
type of stomach tumor, our surgeons can perform gastrectomy using minimally
invasive surgery. Laparoscopic surgery results in smaller scars and generally
allows patients a shorter hospital stay with quicker recovery times.
In a study of all patients undergoing gastrectomy in the United States,
only 10 percent of patients received the D2 lymph node dissection that
is recommended by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network's guidelines
for gastric cancer. Our surgical oncologist (insert hyperlink to Dr. Bhagwandin)
is specially trained in techniques to remove the lymph nodes surrounding
the stomach to maximize accurate staging.