Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, is a form of cancer which starts in the cells of the wall of the stomach. This type of cancer begins from the common cell types present in the lining of the stomach’s wall. Gastric cancer is a common form of cancer and it is known to occur mostly in men above 40 years of age.

Gastric cancer has five stages: stage 0 to stage IV. Stage 0 is the early stage and stage IV is the advanced stage. The staging of cancer helps in deciding the proper course of treatment. A cancer patient’s chances of recovery and the treatment options depend upon the following factors-

 The stage of the cancer- whether the cancer is still in the stomach only or it has spread to the surrounding lymph nodes and/or any other places in the body.

 The patient’s overall health conditions.

The chances of recovery are always high if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. However, in most of the cases of gastric cancer, it is discovered when it reaches an advanced stage. At such a stage, gastric cancer may be treated but can rarely be cured completely. Generally, five types of treatment options are considered:

Surgery:

The surgical removal of the stomach is considered as the most effective treatment for gastric cancer. This process is termed as gastrectomy. The stomach may be removed fully or partially. Partial removal involves removal of only a part of the stomach which contains cancer, its surrounding lymph nodes and some parts of other tissues and/or organs close to the tumor.

Chemotherapy:

It is a treatment method which uses drugs to end the growth of cancer cells either by killing them or by stopping their division. The way by which chemotherapy is administered depends upon the type and stage of the cancer which is to be treated.

Radiation therapy:

This is a treatment method which uses high-energy x-rays or other similar kinds of radiation to kill the cancer cells or to stop their growth. Two types of radiation therapies are there: external radiation therapy and internal radiation therapy.

Chemoradiation:

This method combines chemotherapy and radiation therapy to boost the effects of both of these methods. Chemoradiation may be given after a surgery, to lower the risk of the cancer coming back.

Targeted therapy:

This is a type of treatment which makes use of drugs or other similar substances to identify and attack certain specific cancer cells without harming the other normal cells.