Stomach Cancer

According to the latest WHO data published in 2017 Stomach Cancer Deaths in Malaysia reached 946 or 0.68% of total deaths.
Stomach Cancer occurs when cancer cells form in the inner lining of the stomach. These cells can grow into a tumor. Also called gastric cancer, the disease usually grows slowly over many years.

Risks Factors

• Helicobacter Pylori Infection
• Smoking
• Being overweight or obese
• A diet high in smoked, pickled, or salty foods
• Stomach surgery for an ulcer
• Type-A blood
• Epstein-Barr virus infection
• Certain genes
• Working in coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries
• Exposure to asbestos

Symptoms

  • Poor appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal (belly) pain
  • Vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel
  • A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating a small meal
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting, with or without blood
  • Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
  • Blood in the stool
  • Low red blood cell count (anemia)

Diagnosis

  • The doctor will check the patient’s history and conduct a physical examination
  • The patient will be given a mixture of barium and water to drink. The barium temporarily coats the gullet, stomach and small intestine. X-ray images can then show up any tumors or abnormalities.
  • An upper GI endoscopy is a procedure that allows the doctor to examine the lining of the stomach and remove a sample of abnormal tissue for further examination.
  • An endoscopic ultrasound can help the doctor to evaluate how much the stomach cancer has grown and whether it has spread to nearby organs.
  • A lung x-ray is used to detect any abnormality in the lungs and check whether the cancer has spread to this area.
  • A computerized tomography (CT) scan generates three-dimensional images of internal organs and enables the doctor to observe the location and spread of the disease much more definitively than from a standard x-ray.

Treatments

The choice of treatment depends on:

  • Size, location and appearance of the cancerous cells
  • Stage and spread of the cancer
  • Patient’s overall health

Treatment Options

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer often begins as a growth called a polyp inside the colon or rectum. Finding and removing polyps can prevent colorectal cancer.

Risk Factors

 
Age The disease is most common in people over age 50, and the chance of getting colorectal cancer increases with each decade.
Gender Colorectal cancer is more common among men.
Polyps These growths on the inner wall of the colon or rectum aren’t cancer. They’re fairly common in people over age 50. One type of polyp, called an adenoma, makes colorectal cancer more likely. Adenomas are the first step toward colon and rectal cancer.
 Personal history If you’ve already had colorectal cancer, you could get it again, especially if you had it for the first time before age 60. Also, people who have chronic inflammatory conditions of the colon, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than other people.
 Family History If two or more close family members have had colorectal cancer, then you have about a 15% chance of getting it at some point. If conditions such as familial adenomatous polyposis, MYH-associated polyposis, or hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer run in your family, that raises the risk for colon cancer
 Diet  People who eat a lot of fat and cholesterol and little fiber may be more likely to develop colorectal cancer.
 Lifestyle You may be more likely to get colorectal cancer if you drink a lot of alcohol, smoke, don’t get enough exercise, and if you are overweight.
 Diabetes  People with diabetes are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than other people.
 Race  Chinese has 3 times higher risk in developing colon cancer than Malays.

Signs and Symptoms of Colon Cancer

  • A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
  • A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis of Colon Cancer

  • Biopsy, which involves taking small amounts of tissue samples from the patient, is the most accurate method of detecting colon cancer and providing biomolecular predictors of cancer.
  • Carcinoembryonic Antigen (CEA) is a blood test used to determine the amount of red blood cells or measure the amount of a protein.
  • CT Scan is used to find the location of the cancer and determine how far it has spread to other parts of the body.
  • Ultrasound uses high frequency sound waves to determine how much the cancer has spread to the lungs or other organs.
  • Chest X-ray is used to determine how much the cancer has spread to the lungs.
  • PET Scan is a test that involves the injection of a radioactive substance into an organ or tissue in order to create images that can be examined.

Treatment of Colon Cancer

Treatment of colon cancer requires a multidisciplinary team of physicians such as surgeons, radiologists and cancer specialists who together will make the most suitable treatment plan for each individual patient. The doctors will make their decision based on the following factors:

  • Size, location and characteristics of the cancer cells
  • Stage of disease and spread of cancer
  • Patient’s general health

Treatment Options for Colon Cancer

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted Therapy
  • Angiogenesis