We all get the stomach aches from time to time, and if more often than not, this can cause us to worry about stomach cancer. Stomach cancer has a reputation for being one of the most painful but for many sufferers, pain is not among the disease’s early warning signs. In fact, it can cause no symptoms in the beginning at all. Stomach cancer is more prevalent among men and the chance of developing the disease increases with age.
If you notice blood in your vomit or stool you should see a gastroenterologist right away. If this is due to stomach cancer, the blood in your stool will have a dark red or blackish color to it. From vomiting, a bright red color or a “grainy” texture will appear. This is because it has only been partially digested. Your stomach will experience a dull-achy feeling right in the middle. The uncomfortable feeling will remain constant, not hurt for a bit and then go away. Our appetites become affected too. Appetites diminish and food just doesn’t sound good. Period.
Many health conditions; type 1 diabetes, Crohn’s disease and stomach cancer can lead to unexplained weight loss associated with the cancer. If you haven’t been dieting or exercising and the pounds are coming off, be concerned. Heartburn and indigestion (although more on the less likely side) can be early warning signs of stomach cancer while bloating, diarrhea and constipation are more obvious. Once stomach cancer has been diagnosed and staged, there are many things to think about involving a treatment plan- chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. You can also discuss alternative methods to treat the cancer or relieve symptoms. These methods can include vitamins, herbs, and special diets, or other methods such as acupuncture. If the cancer is further along (end stage) you may want to consider hospice.
It is important that you understand the goal of your treatment. Whether to try and cure the cancer or to keep the cancer under control and relieve pain and symptoms. Make a choice that is right for you.