Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a type of cancer that starts in the cells of the stomach and grow out of control. They tend to grow slowly over many years. The stomach is a sac-like pouch responsible for food digestion and the secretion of gastric juices. The level of invasiveness is determined by diagnostic testing and imaging. Cancer Care of North Florida will take careful steps stage and grade the tumor to assess the best way to create and manage your treatment plan. Our goal is to achieve the very best outcome while preserving your quality of life.

Types of stomach cancer include:

  • Adenocarcinomas (most common)
  • GI stromal tumors
  • Neuroendocrine tumors including carcinoids
  • Lymphomas

What are the risk factors for Stomach Cancer?

It may be possible to avoid some risk factors for stomach cancer, but some are out of your control. The best plan is to catch it early. Lifestyle and hereditary factors include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Human papillomavirus infection (HPV)
  • Personal history of stomach cancer
  • Poor diet
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Genetic inherited syndromes
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Menetrier disease
  • Common viable immune deficiency (CVID)
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • Previous stomach surgeries
  • Stomach polyps
  • Having type A blood
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Gender/Age/Race/Where you live

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer Include:

  • Abdomen/Belly pain
  • Feeling full after a small meal
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Heartburn/indigestion
  • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting (may or may not see blood)
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Blood in stool
  • Low red blood cell count

Many of these symptoms are more likely to be caused by conditions other than stomach cancer but seeking care early can help find cancer earlier and improve outcomes. In most cases, stomach cancers are found because of symptoms they cause. Unfortunately, most stomach cancers do not cause symptoms until they have reached an advanced stage.

Stomach Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

At Cancer Care of North Florida, once cancer has been diagnosed, our specialists may order diagnostic testing and imaging to help determine the stage and extent of the disease. It is very important to do a comprehensive stomach cancer work-up to carefully evaluate the extent of the cancer.

  • Medical history and physical exam
  • Barium swallow
  • Biopsy and molecular assessment
  • Blood tests
  • Upper endoscopy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Upper GI series of x-rays
  • Chest x-ray
  • MRI scan
  • CT scan
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound
  • PET imaging

Depending on the type and stage (severity) of the stomach cancer, the following treatments may be necessary. At Cancer Care of North Florida, we use the most advanced therapies available to treat stomach cancer. An individualized plan of care may include multiple types of treatments.

Types of surgery for stomach cancer include the following:

  • Endoscopic resection and endoscopic dissection (removal of some or most of the stomach tumor and some surrounding tissue.
  • Subtotal (partial) gastrectomy (removal of part of the stomach)
  • Total gastrectomy (removal of all the stomach and nearby lymph nodes)

Other forms of non-surgical interventions for stomach cancer include:

Radiation – Any remaining cancer cells left after surgery are destroyed with high-energy radiation beams. For some stomach cancer, treating with chemotherapy at the same time can make radiation therapy work better. It is possible to receive radiation therapy before, during or after surgical intervention. Also, when surgery is not possible, radiation can be used to help slow the growth of the tumor. We work closely with Cancer Care of North Florida Radiation Oncology located on campus.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy (chemo) are anti-cancer drugs that may be given intravenously (injected into your vein) or by mouth. The drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach cancer cells in most parts of the body. Chemotherapy can sometimes be given before, during or after surgery. At Cancer Care of North Florida, our team provide extensive education and supportive care through the therapy.
Targeted Treatments – Targeted drugs work differently from chemotherapy drugs. They sometimes work when chemo drugs don’t, and they often have different side effects. They can be used either along with chemotherapy or by themselves if chemotherapy is no longer working. Targeted treatment options are determined by further genetic testing of the tumor cells. This type of testing is usually done on biopsied tissue of the tumor cells.
Immunotherapy – Immunotherapy is the use of medicines to help a person’s own immune system better recognize and destroy cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be used to treat some people with advanced stomach cancer.

Why Choose Us?

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, it is crucial to work with a team of cancer experts who not only have extensive experience, but also a strong track record for achieving the best possible outcome for their patients. While this type of cancer is treatable, the dedicated team Cancer Care of North Florida will initially stage and treat this form of cancer and monitor and treat cancer recurrence or complications that may occur later.

At Cancer Care of North Florida, our physicians are highly specialized in treating multiple types of cancer with the most advanced techniques. Using a team approach, we strive for excellence. We work with each patient to specifically tailor their treatment to their own clinical situation. One of the common diseases that we treat is stomach cancer.

  • Highly trained, collaborative oncology specialists all currently taking new patients
  • Consultation appointments scheduled within 3-5 days of referral and in some cases same-day appointments available
  • One-stop campus for comprehensive diagnositics and treatment for many types of cancer including radiation, chemotherapy infusion, lab draws and imaging services
  • Onsite infusion center offers comfortable, home-like setting
  • In-office lab testing
  • In-office medication dispensary
  • Open, immediate access to outpatient symptom management
  • 24-hour physician coverage
  • COPI-certified clinical trials
  • We accept most insurance plans including Medicare, Medicaid, and VA