Various genetic factors and risk behaviors can cause difficult-to-detect gastric cancer
Gastric cancer in the early stages in many patients shows few or no symptoms. Because the lack of symptoms makes it difficult to detect the disease, doctors often diagnose the disease in advanced stages. Treatment can be more difficult, and there is still no recommended great and serious established screening test to detect early gastric cancer today in the general population for humans.
Screening test for stomach cancer
Gastroenterologist Dr. Saowanee Ngamruengphong from Johns Hopkins Hospital explains how doctors are trying to solve the problem of the gastric mucosa without surgery. An endoscopic procedure known as gastroscopy helps screen patients at high risk for stomach cancer and diagnoses the disease earlier.
- There is no standard guideline on who should be screened for stomach cancer. Therefore, we recommend screening test recommendations based on risk factors for developing this type of cancer. Based on the test what scientists found is that, we determine how often patients should undergo additional examinations.
These are the factors that are taken into account when identifying at-risk patients:
Family history: If there is a family member who has had stomach cancer, it increases the risk. Race: Members of the white race are at lower risk. Smoking: Smoking can increases the risk of stomach cancer without doubts. Physical health and genetics: Certain types of stomach infections and hereditary syndromes, such as Lynch syndrome and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (a genetic disorder characterized by the development of benign polyps), also increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Gastric cancer – diagnosis
Upper endoscopy (gastroscopy) is today the gold standard for diagnosing stomach cancer.
During upper endoscopy:
Patients receive general anesthesia so that they sleep during the procedure and do not feel pain. The doctor inserts a tube (with a camera attached at the end) through the mouth, through the esophagus and stomach. As the circumference shifts, the doctor carefully looks into the mucous membrane of the esophagus and stomach, carefully examining all suspicious areas that may be affected by malignant cells.
New technologies are of great importance
Even with an endoscope, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish cancerous lesions from healthy or scarred abdominal tissue. When endoscopy is done, doctors cannot always confirm that the cancer has developed. Instead, very small, subtle lesions are often seen.