While stomach cancer ranks 5th in the list of cancers seen in the world, it rises to the 2nd place among cancers that cause death. Approximately one million people are diagnosed with stomach cancer every year in the world, and approximately 780 thousand people die from stomach cancer.
about 12 thousand people diagnosed with stomach cancer each year in Turkey and are losing their lives because of lays about 10 thousand patients with gastric cancer. The most important reason for this is that gastric cancer does not give symptoms in the early period and the complaints that occur when the tumor grows are ignored by the patients with the thought of 'indigestion', and the diagnosis is late. The news that spreads water on the hearts is the results obtained from the researches on immunotherapy, which is described as the biggest step taken in cancer treatment in recent years. According to the latest researches, immunotherapy contributes to the shrinkage of the tumor in stomach cancer patients, delaying the progression of the disease, thus extending the life span. Moreover, it performs its task without disturbing the patient's life comfort and without serious side effects. Acıbadem Altunizade Hospital Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Faysal Dane said, “Thanks to the advances in the treatment of stomach cancer, the quality of life of the patients increases and their lifespan is also extended. However, the thing to remember is; As in all types of cancer, early diagnosis is very important in stomach cancer. " says.
6 critical symptoms of stomach cancer!
Stomach cancer has risk factors such as helicobacter pylori, smoking and alcohol use, obesity, over-salted foods, some food preservatives, over-fried foods and genetic predisposition. Prof. Dr. Faysal Dane emphasizes that by reducing these risks, stomach cancer can be partially prevented. Stomach cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage in our country and western countries. So much so that only one third of the patients can be diagnosed at an early stage. The reason for this is that the disease does not give symptoms in the early period, complaints related to stomach cancer are not symptoms specific to the disease and the use of screening methods is less. "From this point of view, it would be correct to say that stomach cancer is progressing insidiously." Medical Oncology Specialist Prof. Dr. Faysal Dane warns that complaints that occur as the tumor progresses should not be ignored, and lists 3 critical symptoms that require a doctor to be consulted without wasting time as "persistent nausea-vomiting, prolonged stomach pain, rapid satiety, bleeding while vomiting, difficulty swallowing and weight loss".
Treatment depends on the stage of the disease
"Treatment success of stomach cancer varies a lot depending on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed." said Prof. Dr. Faysal Dane points out that early diagnosis is very important in stomach cancer, as it is in every cancer. Prof. Dr. Stating that how the patient is treated varies according to the stage of the disease, Faysal Dane said, “In a small number of patients diagnosed in the very early period, it may be sufficient to surgically remove the tumor. However, if the tumor has advanced in the stomach wall or is reflected in the surrounding lymph nodes, pre- or post-operative drug treatments are required according to the characteristics of the patient and the disease. Even if not in every patient, some patient groups also use radiotherapy together with chemotherapy. " says. Prof. Dr. Faysal Dane says that if the disease is reflected in more distant areas other than the stomach and surrounding lymph nodes, drug therapy such as chemotherapy, targeted drugs and immunotherapy is often used.
Striking results from immunotherapy treatment!
In gastric cancer, as in other cancers, recent developments in targeted drugs and immunotherapy treatment added to chemotherapy excite the medical world. Cancer immunotherapy is defined as treatments that prevent the formation of cancer cells by strengthening the body's immune system, and enable them to be controlled or killed. The difference of immunotherapy from other cancer treatments is that it does not directly affect the cancer cell, but activates the immune system and attacks the tumor.
Today, the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatment in gastric cancer is being investigated intensively, either alone or together with chemotherapies. The results of these studies have been presented in meetings for several years. Finally, at the European Medical Oncology Congress (ESMO) held in September 2020, it was announced that immunotherapy used together with chemotherapy contributes to the shrinkage of the tumor in gastric cancer patients, delaying the progression of the disease, thus extending the life span. Emphasizing that this development in the treatment of stomach cancer is extremely important, Prof. Dr. Faysal Dane said, “Although it is not known exactly which patient will respond to the treatment with the study results we have today, it is possible to predict these patients with some tests and to predict which patient is a good candidate for immunotherapy. Therefore, as a result of the striking results shown by scientific studies, all gastric cancer patients are evaluated in terms of immunotherapy today. " says.