Stomach cancer: Surgeon explains the symptoms
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However, this also means that fifty percent of gastric cancer cases are diagnosed in people under the age of 75. Would you recognise the bodily sensations that are indicating you need to visit your doctor? One of the “most common” sensations of gastric cancer is dysphagia, which is when you find it difficult or uncomfortable to swallow. For example, there can be a burning sensation each time you swallow, or it could feel painful.
It’s possible that food may feel stuck in your throat or chest, added the cancer charity.
Although this symptom on its own could be indicative of other health conditions, Cancer Research UK urges anybody experiencing this symptom to get “checked by your doctor”.
Another possible sensation you might feel if you have gastric cancer is continual dyspepsia.
This is when you suffer from persistent indigestion that goes on for three weeks or more.
Symptoms of indigestion (i.e. dyspepsia)
The NHS pointed out that the following symptoms appear after eating or drinking:
- Heartburn – a painful burning feeling in the chest, often after eating
- Feeling full and bloated
- Feeling sick
- Belching and farting
- Bringing up food or bitter-tasting fluids into your mouth.
Most people will experience indigestion at some point; it usually goes away on its own, or antacids – medication from the pharmacy – can help.
The key is whether indigestion persists for 21 days or longer – if so, do book a doctor’s appointment.
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If you have a growing tumour in the stomach, you may feel really full after eating only a small amount of food.
“This is often an early symptom and can cause weight loss,” said Cancer Research UK.
Gastric cancer may also lead to a feeling of nausea, and some people may physically be sick.
This can occur when a growing tumour causes a blockage in the stomach, preventing food from passing through the digestive system.
One other possible indication of gastric cancer is feeling tired and breathless.
Other symptoms of gastric (i.e. stomach) cancer may include:
- Weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Pain behind the breastbone
- Dark, almost black stools.
Any unusual or persistent symptoms need to be checked over by a medical professional.
Do I fit the risk profile?
Around 40 percent of gastric cancer cases can be attributed to an infection with Helicobacter (H.pylori).
A long-term H.pylori infection can lead to stomach inflammation and stomach ulcers.
The Mayo Clinic highlighted the warning signs of a H.pylori infection, which can be confirmed by undergoing blood, stool, and breath tests.
Signs of a H.pylori infection:
- An ache or burning pain in your abdomen
- Abdominal pain that’s worse when your stomach is empty
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent burping
- Unintentional weight loss.
Cancer Research UK added that this type of infection can be treated with a course of antibiotics.
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