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Are stomach cancer and esophageal cancer related?

Stomach cancer and esophageal cancer are diseases that fall into different risk groups and are provoked by different factors.

What causes stomach cancer and esophageal cancer?

Esophageal cancer can be triggered by the following factors:

long-term smoking
love of hot drinks
frequent use of strong alcoholic beverages

They injure the lining of the esophagus, provoking precancerous conditions. Smoking dissolves nicotine and tar in saliva, strong alcohol irritates and causes inflammation.

Kyrgyzstan is a typical endemic region and our love for hot tea. Many people drink it without cooling, which leads to diseases of the middle thoracic esophagus. So it is worth drinking and eating hot, having previously cooled it in the mouth, or cooled it beforehand to an acceptable temperature!

Stomach cancer  can be caused by  helicobacter pylori . It can bring the mucous membranes to inflammation, which are then transformed into metaplasia (changes in the epithelium). Also at risk are people who eat unprocessed meat and fish. It is worth remembering that fried and fatty foods are more likely to increase the likelihood of colorectal cancer than stomach cancer.

Is it a disease of the elderly?

If we talk about the esophagus, 99% of patients are people over fifty, long-term smokers who consume a lot of strong alcohol. If you drink strong alcohol every day, the mucous membrane will not have time to recover. 

About 15-20% of patients with stomach cancer are patients under 50 years of age. There are very early forms – in the thirties. 

At what stage are these cancers most often found?

If the tumor is aggressive, then its development can occur at any stage. In such cases, the prognosis is almost always unfavorable. 

Symptoms:

pain
gastric outlet stenosis
dysphagia
bleeding from a tumor

This means that the disease has already started and the tumor is large. Esophageal cancer manifests itself when the tumor blocks the lumen and a person is unable to swallow food. With a 95% probability, we can say that the disease is running and the third stage is at least. Early forms of cancer can be detected at a time when a person is not worried about anything.

Diagnostics

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FGDS (fibroesophagogastroduodenoscopy) is a study for which you need to get a referral for any gastric discomfort. This is the first step in the diagnosis of gastric or esophageal cancer after identification of risk groups. 

Treatment

The main treatment for stomach cancer is surgery. Removal of lymph nodes is a diagnostic procedure that allows you to further clarify the stage of the disease. To do this, it is necessary to examine at least 22 lymph nodes. The absence of metastases in the lymph nodes is a favorable situation, it means the second stage and increased chances for the patient.

Minimally invasive interventions

Minimally invasive interventions are possible in early forms of cancer. When the tumor is within the gastric mucosa, it is even possible to leave the organ completely, by operating it endoscopically. The affected area of ​​the mucous membrane is removed when retreating from the edge of the tumor.

If the cancer has penetrated the mucous membrane and grows into the submucous layer, and the tumor volume is small, it is possible to perform laparoscopy. In total, five small incisions are made and a five-centimeter small incision is made above the navel to “pull out” the removed material.

When is chemotherapy done?

Chemotherapy is usually used in the fourth stage or in the third stage – to fight distant metastases or reduce the likelihood of tumor progression.

Where do gastric cancer metastases get?

Metastasis usually occurs in the liver, peritoneum, paraortal lymph nodes. With distant metastases, the stomach should not be operated on. This will not improve the prognosis for the patient, and the quality of life will worsen catastrophically.

Is the stomach always removed completely?

If the tumor is located on the border of the stomach with the duodenum, if it is possible to retreat the required distance from the edge of the tumor, then the stomach can be partially saved. However, the extent of the lymphadenectomy remains the same.

How to live with a removed stomach?

During the operation, the intestine is sutured to the esophagus. The person continues to eat naturally, but the diet is prescribed for life with enzyme replacement therapy. You need to eat more often, but the quality of life will be normal.

Does it make sense to be treated?

If you do not remove the diseased stomach, the probability that you will survive the five-year milestone is 5-7%. If you remove it, then even at the third stage you can survive the five-year milestone with a probability of 50%. In normal specialized centers, the complication rate does not exceed 12-15%, and the mortality rate after such operations does not exceed 2-3%. So, if you are treated, the chances of surviving five years later are 10 times more than if you come, shrug your shoulders and do nothing.

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