Stomach cancer is most often detected in the later stages. Stomach cancer is treated based on the location, size, stage, and extent of disease. Treatment options for stomach cancer include:
Surgery is the most common treatment for stomach cancer. The type of surgery depends on the stage of the disease and can vary from removing the tumor and part of the stomach, to removing the entire stomach.
There are three types of stomach surgery that may be performed:
- Endoscopic mucosal resection—This surgery is generally performed in the early stages where the tumor is removed through an endoscope.
- Subtotal gastrectomy—This procedure removes the lower part of the stomach, leaving part of the stomach to be reattached to the esophagus and small intestine.
- Total gastrectomy—This is the removal of the entire stomach and often includes removal of nearby lymph nodes. The esophagus is attached directly to the small intestine.
This is the use of high-energy rays to kill or shrink cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used after surgery to destroy cancer cells that could not be seen or removed during surgery.
Combined Modality Treatment
A recent study showed that patients with high-risk stomach cancer (positive lymph nodes or spread through the stomach wall by tumor) are best served by surgery followed by both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This combined modality approach results in best survival and least likelihood of cancer returning.
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