Stomach Cancer Treatment
The method of treatment used in gastric cancer cases depends on the severity of the disease and the general health condition of the patient. It is estimated that about 20 to 30 percent of gastric cancer patients can be treated until healed. The following are the three main types of treatment in cases of colon cancer.
The purpose of radiotherapy is to kill cancer cells. In radiotherapy, treatment method is done by using radiant energy emitted. Usually the method of radiotherapy is applied to high-grade stomach cancer cases with bleeding symptoms.
Before surgery, radiotherapy can be done to minimize the size of the stomach tumor so it is more easily removed. While radiotherapy is done after it aims to kill cancer cells that may still be left, while preventing cancer from developing again.
Even so, there are some side effects from the use of radiotherapy that also must be considered, including:
- Irritation or blackish color of the skin around the treated area.
Radiotherapy should be done regularly every week. Within a week, there are usually five treatment sessions over five days and each session lasts for several minutes. The time limit of radiotherapy treatment depends on the purpose and severity. For example, to relieve symptoms in high-stomach cancer cases generally last up to two weeks. Meanwhile, to prevent cancer coming back, generally lasts up to five weeks.
Chemotherapy is a treatment to kill cancer cells through the administration of a number of drugs. An example is the cytotoxic drug (cytotoxic) that can stop the spread of cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs may be tablets, infusions, or a combination of both.
In stomach cancer, chemotherapy performed before surgery usually aims to shrink the tumor. While chemotherapy after surgery aims to prevent cancer recurrence. For advanced stages of non-operative stomach cancer, chemotherapy can help inhibit cancer progression and relieve symptoms.
Just like radiotherapy, the timing of chemotherapy is divided into several sessions. Some only last for three weeks or months with a constant dose of a given dose.
Some of the side effects of chemotherapy are:
- Changes to the skin, such as redness, swelling, and tingling in the palms of the hands or feet.
- The body feels tired.
- Weight loss.
- Hair loss.
- Nerve damage.
Usually these side effects will disappear after chemotherapy treatment ends. The side effects of chemotherapy in each stomach cancer patient may vary depending on the patient’s own reaction to the treatment, the number of treatment sessions performed, and the type of chemotherapy drugs given.
3. Provision of Drugs with Specific Targets.
Treatment therapy is intended to eliminate certain abnormalities in cancer cells. Some examples of drugs that are usually used are:
- Imatinib, Sunitinib, and Regorafenib to treat stomach cancer called gastrointestinal stomal tumor (gastrointestinal stomal tumor).
- Trastuzumab to kill stomach cancer cells that produce too much HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2).
- Ramucirumab for treating advanced stomach cancer that does not react to other treatments.
The type of gastric cancer treatment performed depends on the severity of cancer spread itself. For example, if the diagnosed cancer is still in its early stages and develops in the gastric wall, then a procedure called endoscopic resection may be performed.
Through this procedure doctors do not need to dissect the patient and simply insert the endoscope into the stomach through the mouth and throat. With a special device equipped with this camera, doctors can remove the cancer from the lining of the stomach and leaving a healthy network.
The surgical procedure still included in the treatment of low stomach cancer is partial gastrectomy. However, in this procedure, the doctor will perform surgery on the patient’s abdomen to remove the stomach part of the infected cancer. Partial gastrectomy is generally performed if the cancer is still in the lower stomach and has not spread to the middle and top.
Further from partial gastrectomy is total gastrectomy. This procedure is performed if the cancer has spread to the middle and upper stomach. In this case the doctor will be forced to lift the entire patient’s stomach and directly connect the small intestine with the end of the esophagus channel.
Lifting of lymph nodes that allegedly has been undermined by cancer will also be done. This procedure is also useful to prevent cancer recurrence.
In addition, cancer can also spread more widely from the stomach until it is not possible to do surgery again. If this happens and the gastrointestinal tract becomes blocked, the doctor will offer several options, namely the installation of a hose that directly leads to the stomach, bypass surgery that connects the channel from the stomach to the small intestine, and partial or total gastrectomy to remove blockages and relieve symptoms.
5. Risk of surgery
Just like other stomach cancer treatment methods, surgery can also cause risk. Some of them are:
In the case of stomach cancer that can not be cured, treatment is usually only focused to make the patient as comfortable as possible by reducing the symptoms he felt.