Gastric cancer, commonly referred to as stomach cancer, is a malignant health condition that develops in the stomach. It is a common form of cancer worldwide, common among older adults. Gastric cancer typically originates in the cells that line the inner surface of the stomach, and it can potentially spread to other body parts if left untreated. Here are the signs and symptoms that indicate the progression of this form of cancer.
Indigestion or heartburn
Persistent indigestion or heartburn may indicate gastric cancer. However, note that these are common symptoms that overlap with several known digestive disorders. So, look for heartburn that doesn’t subside with suggested treatments and remedies.
Any discomfort, pain, or a feeling of fullness in the upper abdomen that is quite similar to that of a gnawing or burning sensation is a sign of progressing disorders.
Loss of appetite
A noticeable decline in appetite is a cause for concern, especially when there are no other underlying health conditions. An individual with this condition will also feel full after eating only a small meal.
Nausea and vomiting
Persistent nausea and vomiting is another symptom. However, vomiting blood can be a sign of advanced gastric cancer.
Blood in stools
Changes in the color or consistency of stools are noticeable symptoms that one shouldn’t ignore. Gastric cancer causes cells to degrade and deteriorate, causing bleeding in the stomach. As a result, patients will notice bloody or black, tarry stools (Melena).
One will also experience weakness and fatigue due to the cancer’s impact on overall health and nutrition.
Swelling or fluid buildup
Gastric cancer can cause fluid to accumulate in the abdomen, leading to abdominal swelling and discomfort.
As the cancer progresses, it may obstruct the passing of food from the esophagus into the stomach, causing difficulty or pain while swallowing.
It’s important to note that various other health conditions share these symptoms, and therefore, their presence does not necessarily mean a person has gastric cancer. However, if one experiences persistent flare-ups of these symptoms for an extended period or worsens over time, one must seek professional attention for a thorough evaluation and diagnosis. Early diagnosis and management can improve the prognosis for gastric cancer and living with the condition while focusing on quality of life.