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08 Nov 2021

Stomach Cancer Awareness – Prevention

November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. Healthbay’s Gastroenterologist Dr. Neil Galletly talks more about the disease

Stomach cancer is one of the top four most common cancers worldwide. The estimated five-year survival rate for stomach cancer is less than 30%. If diagnosed at an early stage, the chances of a successful cure are improved, and so early detection is very important.

Early stage stomach cancer rarely causes symptoms, making early detection very difficult. Stomach cancer may present with vague gastrointestinal symptoms or may mimic other conditions, such as GERD, gastritis, or peptic ulcers.

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include

  • A sense of fullness after eating small amounts
  • Discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting and/or bloating after meals
  • Loss of appetite and/or unexplained weight loss
  • Indigestion, heartburn, or difficulty swallowing
  • Vomiting blood or blood in the stool
  • Weakness and fatigue

Most of these symptoms may be caused by things other than stomach cancer. However, don’t ignore your symptoms. If you see blood or if you have these symptoms for more than three or four weeks (especially if they are getting worse), you should see a gastroenterologist or your Family Medicine doctor for further investigation.

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