Most of the time when one has cancer the diagnosis happens quite late. And with a condition like stomach cancer, this is way too common.
The early warning signs are so subtle that they overlap with minor ailments like acidity, constipation, etc., and are often overlooked. Hence, it might be late by the time you reach out to a doctor, especially because the symptoms might be managed with over the counter medication. Here Dr. Meghal Sanghvi, Onco-surgeon from Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, lists out some symptoms or digestive problems that you should not ignore.
And now you probably ask yourself – how can you stop this stealthy, silent killer before it strikes you? Well, we can help you with that problem – you should arm yourself with knowledge by learning the risk factors and the warning signs of stomach cancer. Stomach cancer can be hard to detect because when the symptoms finally do occur, they are often so mild that the person ignores them. According to the American Cancer Society, the following symptoms could indicate stomach cancer:
– indigestion or heartburn
– discomfort or pain in the abdomen
– nausea and vomiting
– diarrhea or constipation
– bloating of the stomach after meals
– loss of appetite
– weakness and fatigue
– bleeding (vomiting blood or having blood in the stool)
Are You at Risk? The most common factors that might increase the risk of developing stomach cancer include the following:
-gender (males are 2/3 more likely than women)
-age (over 55 years)
-a diet high in foods that are salted, smoked, dried, or pickled
-alcohol abuse and smoking
-previous stomach surgery
-presence in a stomach of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, which may cause ulcers
Note: you have to be very careful, and if you suffer from some the warning signs of stomach cancer or are worried about your risk, you should talk to your doctor. He or she possibly will refer you to a gastroenterologist (specialist in digestive disorders) for further evaluation.
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