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Stomach Cancer, Ambulatory Care

Stomach cancer

usually starts in the cells that line the stomach but may form anywhere in the stomach. It is also called gastric cancer.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Heartburn, nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling bloated or full even after a small meal
  • Trouble swallowing food
  • Blood in your vomit or bowel movement

Call 911 for any of the following:

  • Warm, tender, swollen, red, and painful arm or leg
  • Suddenly feeling lightheaded and short of breath
  • Chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough
  • Coughing up blood

Seek immediate care for the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting and not being able to keep food or liquids down
  • Feeling dizzy or confused

Treatment for stomach cancer

may include any of the following:

  • Surgery called gastrectomy may be used to remove part or all of your stomach.
  • Chemotherapy medicine kills cancer cells and may also be used to shrink lymph nodes that contain cancer.
  • Radiation therapy uses x-rays or gamma rays to kill cancer cells and may stop the cancer from spreading.

Manage your stomach cancer:

  • Do not smoke. Smoking increases your risk for new or returning cancer. Smoking can also delay healing after treatment. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.
  • Eat healthy foods. Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat. Other healthy foods include whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meats, and fish. Limit foods such as salami, corned beef, ham, and bacon.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Drink extra liquids to prevent dehydration. You will also need to replace fluid if you are vomiting or have diarrhea from cancer treatments.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can cause more stomach damage.
  • Exercise as directed. Exercise can help increase your energy level and appetite. Ask your healthcare provider how much exercise you need and which exercises are best for you.

Follow up with your oncologist as directed:

You will need to see your oncologist for ongoing tests and treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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. 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.

© 2015 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.

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