Cancer of the stomach is one of the most
common in our local Singapore

If the cancer is detected early, it is potentially CURABLE.

Function of the stomach
When food enters the stomach from the oesophagus, it is broken down and digested into smaller molecules by gastric juices secreted in the stomach.

What is stomach cancer?
The stomach like the rest of the body, is made up of billions of little units called cells. The cells have a specific function and they divide in an orderly manner.

However, when these cells lose control of their division, a mass of tissue called a tumour is formed. A tumour may be benign (non- cancerous) if it does not have the potential to spread and invade other tissues, or malignant (cancerous) if it invades other neighboring tissues and organs. When they invade lymph channels or the blood stream, these cancer cells break away to form new cancers in other tissues and organs.

Normal Cells Abnormal Cells

Risk Factors

People who have Blood Group 'A'
Those with a history of previous chronic stomach ulcer
Those with a family history of cancer of the stomach
Some researchers suggest that there is a relationship between stomach cancer and a high consumption of smoked and salted food.
 However, the exact relationship has not been established.

Signs and symptoms
Very often no symptoms appear until the cancer is in the advanced stage. Some of the common symptoms are

Upper abdominal discomfort and pain
Persistent indigestion
Loss of appetite
Black tarry stools
Persistent vomiting
Loss of weight
These symptoms can also be due to gastric ulcer or gastritis. Consult your doctor if such symptoms persist.

Barium meal X-ray
A series of x-rays of the stomach after the patient has swallowed a glassful of barium compound which, seen by x-rays, will outline the stomach. A growth can also be seen. This is a safe and simple procedure.

A flexible telescope is passed into the stomach to view the inner lining for any growth. Biopsy of the stomach wall can be made to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of stomach cancer
Surgery - Surgery is the best form of treatment for cancer of the stomach.

For large cancers - removal of the entire stomach and neighboring organs such as the spleen may be required.

For smaller cancers - partial removal of the stomach is done. In very early cases, the cure rate is about 96%, but in the majority of late cases, the cure rate is less than 5%. Unfortunately many of these patients are diagnosed in the advanced stage.

This involves the use of anti-cancer drugs which can produce some improvement. However, these drugs can also produce some unpleasant side effects.

Use of powerful x-rays can occasionally be employed for stomach cancer.

Go for annual medical check-up.
Seek medical attention when you have some of the symptoms listed above.
Cancer is a disease, like many other diseases, dangerous but curable. Early detection and treatment of Cancer can save your life

Cancer Facts

Reference :Singapore Cancer Registry Report No. 6 "Trends In Cancer Incidence in Singapore 1968-2002", Table 5.2, pp 16

2 Singapore Cancer Registry Report No. 6 "Trends In Cancer Incidence in Singapore 1968-2002", Table 5.2, pp 16

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Early detection and treatment can safe your life.   Don't let it to be happened get caught in last minute.


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