Stomach Cancer

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Most stomach cancer starts in the cells that line the stomach. It is also called gastric cancer.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Surgery may cause more bleeding than expected, or you could get an infection. Surgery to remove part or all of your stomach may cause dumping syndrome (food passing too quickly through your stomach and into your intestines). This leads to abdominal pain, nausea, or diarrhea. Cancer may increase your risk for a blood clot in your arm or leg. The clot may travel to your heart or brain and cause life-threatening problems, such as a heart attack or stroke. Even with treatment, the cancer may return or spread to other organs.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

Nutrition:

If you had surgery to remove part your stomach, you may need to follow a special diet. This may decrease symptoms, such as dumping syndrome (food passing too quickly through your stomach and into your intestines). A dietitian may work with you to help reduce symptoms.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.

  • Antinausea medicine: This medicine may be given to calm your stomach and prevent vomiting.

  • Pain medicine: You may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more medicine.

Tests:

  • Blood tests: A sample of your blood may be sent to the lab to check for anemia (lack of red blood cells). Stomach cancer can cause anemia to develop.

  • Chest x-ray: This is a picture of your heart and lungs. It may show if the cancer has spread.

  • CT scan: This test is also called a CAT scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your chest and abdomen. The pictures may show the size and location of the tumor. You may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help caregivers see the pictures better. Tell the caregiver if you have ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.

Treatment:

Stomach cancer treatment depends on the size of the tumor and how far the cancer has spread. You may need more than one of the following:

  • Surgery: You may need surgery to remove part or all of your stomach. This surgery is called gastrectomy.

  • Chemotherapy: This medicine kills cancer cells and may also be used to shrink lymph nodes that have cancer in them.

  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses x-rays or gamma rays to kill cancer cells, and may stop the cancer from spreading.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Stomach Cancer (Inpatient Care)

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