Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a serious condition that affects the lining of the stomach. Detecting stomach cancer early is crucial for successful treatment. Being aware of the symptoms can help individuals recognize potential warning signs and seek medical attention promptly.
- Abdominal discomfort: Persistent abdominal pain or discomfort, particularly in the upper abdomen, is a common symptom of stomach cancer. It may feel like a dull ache or a sense of fullness after eating small amounts.
- Indigestion and heartburn: Chronic indigestion, including feelings of bloating, burping, and heartburn, should not be ignored, especially if they persist or worsen over time. These symptoms can be indicative of stomach cancer.
- Unexplained weight loss: Significant, unintentional weight loss without changes in diet or physical activity can be a sign of various medical conditions, including stomach cancer. If you notice a sudden and unexplained drop in weight, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional.
- Loss of appetite: A decreased appetite, along with a general feeling of fullness even after consuming small meals, may be an indication of stomach cancer. Persistent loss of appetite should be evaluated by a doctor.
- Nausea and vomiting: Frequent nausea and vomiting, particularly after meals, can be symptoms of stomach cancer. These symptoms may become more pronounced as the disease progresses.
- Blood in the stool: Stomach cancer can lead to bleeding in the digestive tract, resulting in blood in the stool. Blood may appear as black, tarry stools (melena) or bright red blood. Any occurrence of blood in the stool should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- Fatigue and weakness: Stomach cancer can cause fatigue and weakness due to anemia resulting from chronic blood loss. Anemia occurs when the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to tissues and organs.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can be caused by conditions other than stomach cancer. However, if you experience any persistent or concerning symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis.
Remember, early detection of stomach cancer can significantly improve treatment outcomes. Regular check-ups, especially if you have risk factors such as a family history of stomach cancer, can help in identifying any potential problems early on.