Stomach Cancer (cont.)
In this Article
- What is the stomach?
- What is cancer, and how does stomach cancer spread?
- What are risk factors and causes of stomach cancer?
- What are symptoms of stomach cancer?
- How is stomach cancer diagnosed?
- How is staging determined?
- What is the treatment for stomach cancer?
- Radiation therapy
- How do I go about getting a second opinion?
- What are some of the nutritional concerns of stomach cancer patients?
- What are treatment options for cancer that blocks the digestive tract?
- What follow-up care is necessary for stomach cancer patients? What about complementary and alternative medicine?
- What support is there for cancer patients?
- How can I take part in clinical trials for stomach cancer?
- Stomach Cancer At A Glance
- Find a local Oncologist in your town
Sources of support
Learning that you have stomach cancer can change your life and the lives of those close to you. These changes can be hard to handle. It's normal for you, your family, and your friends to need help coping with the feelings that such a diagnosis can bring.
Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. You may also worry about caring for your family, keeping your job, or continuing daily activities.
Here's where you can go for support:
- Doctors, nurses, and other members of your health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, or other activities.
- Social workers, counselors, or members of the clergy can be helpful if you want to talk about your feelings or concerns. Often, social workers can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
- Support groups also can help. In these groups, people with stomach cancer or their family members meet with other patients or their families to share what they have learned about coping with the disease and the effects of treatment. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet. You may want to talk with a member of your health care team about finding a support group.
- Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) and at LiveHelp (http://www.cancer.gov/help) can help you locate programs, services, and publications. They can send you a list of organizations that offer services to people with cancer.
Taking part in cancer research
Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials (research studies in which people volunteer to take part). Clinical trials are designed to find out whether new approaches are safe and effective.
Doctors are trying to find better ways to care for people with stomach cancer. They are studying many types of treatment and their combinations.
Even if the people in a trial do not benefit directly, they may still make an important contribution by helping doctors learn more about stomach cancer and how to control it. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, doctors do all they can to protect their patients.
If you're interested in being part of a clinical trial, talk with your doctor.
The NCI Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. It has general information about clinical trials as well as detailed information about specific ongoing studies of stomach cancer. Information specialists at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) or at LiveHelp at http://www.cancer.gov/help can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.
Also, you may wish to contact the NCI Surgery Branch at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The telephone number is 301-496-4164. The Web site is located at http://ccr.cancer.gov/labs/lab.asp?labid=93.
- Stomach cancer (gastric cancer) can develop in any part of the stomach and spread to other organs.
- The cause of stomach cancer is not known, but certain risk factors for stomach cancer have been identified.
- Stomach ulcers do not appear to increase a person's risk of developing stomach cancer.
- Symptoms of stomach cancer are often vague.
- Stomach cancer is diagnosed with a biopsy of stomach tissue during a procedure called an endoscopy.
- Treatment of stomach cancer depends on the size, location, and extent of the tumor, the stage of the disease, and the health of the patient.
SOURCE: U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute
Last Editorial Review: 10/15/2009
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