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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:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
- You cough up blood.
Seek care immediately if:
- You are vomiting and cannot keep food or liquids down.
- You are dizzy or feel confused.
Contact your oncologist if:
- Your pain is worse or does not go away after you take pain medicine.
- You have a fever.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
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. Nicotine can damage blood vessels and make it more difficult to manage your stomach cancer. Smoking also increases your risk for new or returning cancer and delays healing after treatment. Do not use e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco in place of cigarettes or to help you quit. They still contain nicotine. 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.
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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.
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