Stomach Cancer treatment

Treatment for stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, depends on several factors including the stage of the cancer, the location of the tumor, the patient’s overall health, and their preferences. Here are the main treatment options for stomach cancer:

  1. Surgery: Surgery is often the primary treatment for stomach cancer, especially in the early stages. Surgical options may include:
    • Partial Gastrectomy: Removal of part of the stomach containing the tumor.
    • Total Gastrectomy: Removal of the entire stomach.
    • Lymphadenectomy: Removal of nearby lymph nodes to check for the spread of cancer.
  2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs can be used to kill cancer cells or shrink tumors. Chemotherapy may be given before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to shrink the tumor and make it easier to remove, or after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy) to kill any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence. Chemotherapy may also be used as the primary treatment for advanced or metastatic stomach cancer.
  3. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill cancer cells. It may be used before surgery to shrink the tumor, after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells, or in combination with chemotherapy. External beam radiation therapy is the most common type used for stomach cancer.
  4. Targeted Therapy: Targeted therapy drugs work by targeting specific abnormalities in cancer cells. For stomach cancer, drugs that target HER2 (such as trastuzumab) may be used in combination with chemotherapy for tumors that overexpress HER2.
  5. Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy drugs, such as pembrolizumab or nivolumab, may be used in certain cases of advanced stomach cancer. These drugs work by helping the body’s immune system recognize and attack cancer cells.
  6. Palliative Care: Palliative care focuses on relieving symptoms and improving the quality of life for patients with advanced stomach cancer. This may include pain management, nutritional support, and other supportive therapies.

Treatment decisions are made based on the stage and characteristics of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health and preferences. It’s essential for patients to discuss their treatment options thoroughly with their healthcare team to determine the most appropriate plan for their individual situation.

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