Gastric Cancer Beverly Hills
Gastric cancer or stomach cancer is the cancer of the inner lining of the stomach. According to the U.S. National Institute of Health close to 11,000 men and women will die of stomach cancer each year. Stomach cancer is the 4th most common cancer worldwide. Risk factors for stomach cancer include a poor diet, infection with a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori or H. Pylori and atrophic gastritis. Smoking is also a risk factor for stomach cancer. Smokers have double the risk of stomach cancer compared to non-smokers. Gastric cancer most commonly occurs in men over age 40.
The earliest symptoms of stomach cancer may be burping and acidity or reflux. Symptoms can be very subtle in early stomach cancer and may include indigestion, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, nausea, anemia (low blood count), feeling full soon after eating (early satiety),bloating, or excessive belching. In later stages, symptoms may progress to abdominal pain, dark stools, difficulty swallowing, or unintentional weight loss.
Diagnosis of gastric cancer is often delayed. Initial symptoms of gastric cancer may be subtle and patient may self-treat with over-the-counter medications therefore, delaying the diagnosis. Only 10% of patients with stomach cancer are diagnosed with stage I and only 13% are diagnosed with stage II cancer.
Stomach cancer is best diagnosed by an upper endoscopy (EGD). Endoscopy allows for complete evaluation of the stomach. Tissue samples (biopsies) can be obtained to check for any cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions and will be sent to for examination under the microscope. Tissue samples can also be checked for H. pylori infection which is treatable by antibiotics.
Dr. Mehdizadeh is attending physician and clinical instructor at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and practices gastroenterology in Beverly Hills and Los Angeles. He has performed thousands of endoscopic procedures. If you suffer from any digestive symptoms, don’t delay your evaluation. The earlier any condition is picked up, the easier it is to treat it. Call us for an initial consultation.