Stomach (gastric) cancer oftentimes feels akin to mild gastroenteritis when the person becomes symptomatic. The sly malevolent tumor that arises from the mucosa of the stomach wall then slowly augments symptom severity which is frequently ignored by individuals who experience them.
Hence, commonly stomach cancer remains undiagnosed till it has the chance to grow uninhibitedly and cause multiple symptoms.
Common Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Vagueness of symptoms which mimic numerous other lesser grave ailments coupled with gradual increase in symptoms is the chief reason for this condition being often spotted during the advanced staging.
Mostly, preliminary stage of stomach cancer doesn’t cause symptoms, but with the growth of the malignant tumor several symptoms are commonly experienced.
Discomfort/Pain in Abdomen
Due to location of the abdomen a person with initial staging of stomach cancer firstly reports symptoms pertaining to this area. Stomach aches can sporadically heighten from continual mild-ranging to acute in nature. By and large, the pains are specifically felt in the breastbone, anywhere in the right/left upper quadrant of the abdomen or slightly lower.
The person persistently senses indigestion which characteristically leads to heartburn, burning sensation in upper abdominal region or stomach, audible oral gas release from digestive tract and fullness/tightness due to distended abdomen chiefly experienced after meals.
Pyrosis wherein acid is regurgitated into esophagus can occur after meal consumption or randomly sans any warning. It can be especially baffling since antacid usage relieves such pains when the issue is actually of grave origin.
Persistent Nauseous Sensation with/without Puking
The person can feel nauseated which may lead to emesis or partial/total oral ejection of stomach contents. The vomit might be speckled with blood.
Early sense of Fullness and/or Bloated feeling after meals
Gassy feeling or pyrosis might be exacerbated by eating. Thus, one feels full when one hasn’t actually consumed anything considerable. Such sense of fullness is noticed earlier than what one usually experienced while consuming meals. An irregular general swelling or increase in abdominal size after a meal is characteristic of post-meal abdominal bloating.
Lack of appetite is one of the signs of gastric cancer. The person might not have any desire or craving to eat even though he/she might not have consumed enough for supplying the body with vital nutrition. It is nothing irregular to not feel like eating for 1-2 days, however when this feeling prolongs then it must be immediately notified to the physician.
Unprompted Weight Reduction
Shedding pounds sans dieting might be just the thing that scores of people are craving for. But it is actually a matter of concern when one has shed around five percent of one’s usual bodily weight in the span of 6 months or lesser without resorting to any exercise or diet regime. It can be red alert sign of stomach cancer which must be brought to the doctor’s attention.
A symptom of gastric cancer which oftentimes tends to be overlooked for lengthy spans of time is an accretion of fluid in the cavity within the abdomen (or space amid spine and stomach wall). Often this is mistaken to be mild increase in weight which then further builds up with passage of time.
Apparent or Inconspicuous Blood loss
In some stage, gastric cancer could reveal itself via bleeding such as rectal bleeding which is often microscopic and can only be substantiated through a fecal occult blood test. Bloody vomit too can be experienced by stomach cancer patients.
Atypical Bowel Movements
Alteration of bowel movement lasting for over a few weeks is related to gastric cancer. Typically the person experiences difficulty or pain while passing hard, arid, lump-like feces (constipation) or passing three or more watery stools a day or longer (diarrhea). In the advanced staging of stomach cancer, the feces may appear blackish and tarry.
Early signs of stomach cancer might include difficulty or pain felt when attempting to swallow or ingest something. This condition is medically termed as Dysphagia which worsens in due course of time.
Blood loss via stools or vomiting that are caused by stomach cancer can make the person anemic. The marked deficit of red blood corpuscles in blood results in paleness and sense of exhaustion that prolongs for days on end. Breathlessness too can be experienced as a result of low hemoglobin count.
Gastric cancer could cause swelling in a specific part of the belly region. Left upper quadrant abdominal mass growth is characteristically noted in this case.
Several researchers state that gastric cancer patients have a greater likelihood of developing blood clots. In case one experiences pain or edema in a leg, or abrupt pain in the chest along with breathlessness then it is indicative of blood clot formation in either lungs or legs which necessitates prompt medical attention.
Photo Credit: http://www.riversideonline.com/health_reference/Cancer/DS00301.cfm