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  1. Home /
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  3. Stomach Cancer in Young Adults

Stomach Cancer in Young Adults

Find out the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for stomach cancer in young adults. Learn how to prevent and manage this challenging condition.

  • Cancer
By Aliya Anchan 18th Apr '24 27th Apr '24
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Overview

Did you know that stomach cancer is becoming more common among young adults? 

It's not just older people who get it anymore. Nowadays, more than 30% of cases are young adults. If you often have stomach pains, are losing weight without trying, or feel full quickly after eating a little, it's important to see a doctor. This cancer is now more frequent in people in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, so everyone should be aware.

Have you ever wondered exactly what stomach cancer is?

let's read ahead!

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, involves the growth of cancerous cells within the lining of the stomach. These cells can form tumors, disrupt normal stomach function, and spread to other body parts if untreated.

To clarify how stomach cancer affects different age groups, here's a straightforward comparison between younger and older adults:

Aspect

Young Adults vs. Older Adults

Progression

Progression

  • Faster and more aggressive in young adults;
    slower in older adults.

Symptoms

Symptoms

  • It may be overlooked in young adults; 
    more likely to be recognized in older adults.

Health at Diagnosis

Health at Diagnosis

  • Better  health in young adults can influence treatment options; 
    older adults often have other health complications.

Response to Treatment

Response to Treatment

  • Young adults might respond better due to fewer health issues; complications from other conditions can affect older adults’ treatment.

Risk Factors

Risk Factors

  • Genetic factors are more pronounced in young adults; 
    lifestyle and environmental factors are more common in older adults.

Wondering what leads to stomach cancer in young adults?

Causes of Stomach Cancer in Young Adults

Stomach Cancer in Young Adults

The causes vary, including genetics, lifestyle habits, and environmental factors. 

  1. Genetic Factors: Sometimes, the risk of stomach cancer is passed down in families. If stomach cancer runs in your family, it’s good to talk to your doctor about screening tests.
  2. Lifestyle Choices: Smoking cigarettes, drinking a lot of alcohol, and eating a lot of salty or processed foods can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables might help lower your risk.
  3. Environmental Factors: Being around certain chemicals or pollutants at work, like asbestos or heavy metals, might also increase your risk.
  4. Role of Diet: Eating lots of smoked, salted, or pickled foods can raise your risk, while fresh fruits and veggies can be protective.
  5. Infections: A common stomach infection called Helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori, can lead to cancer if not treated. 

Do you know that stomach cancer is becoming more common among young adults? Studies predict a 30% increase in cases by 2030 for people under 50. This happens due to factors like family history, lifestyle choices (like smoking or diet), and exposure to certain chemicals.

Make sure to keep an eye on your lifestyle and make changes to lower your chances of getting stomach cancer. 

Are you paying attention to your body's signals?

Common Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Common Symptoms

Sometimes, our bodies give us warning signs that something might be wrong. 

Here are some symptoms of stomach cancer that young adults should keep an eye on:

  • Persistent Stomach Pain: If you have ongoing pain in your stomach that doesn’t go away, it’s a sign to be concerned.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Losing a lot of weight without trying can be concerning for many health issues, including stomach cancer.
  • Feeling Full: If you start feeling full after eating only a small amount of food, that’s not normal and should be checked out.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Regular nausea or vomiting without a clear cause can also be a symptom to watch for.
  • Swelling in the Stomach Area: Any noticeable swelling or bloating in the stomach area that doesn’t go away might be another warning sign.

Did you notice any of these symptoms?

If you notice any of these symptoms, especially if they last more than two weeks, it's important to talk to a doctor. Early detection can make a big difference in treatment options and outcomes.

Diagnosis and Screening

Diagnosis and Screening

Detecting stomach cancer early can be challenging, but there are several key tests used to diagnose it. 

  • Endoscopy:
    • A thin, flexible tube with a camera (endoscope) is passed down your throat to look inside your stomach.
    • Allows doctors to see any unusual areas and take tissue samples if needed.
  • Biopsy:
    • During an endoscopy, doctors may take a small piece of tissue from the stomach lining.
    • This sample is then examined under a microscope to detect cancer cells.
  • Imaging Tests:
    • Includes CT scans, MRIs, and X-rays.
    • These tests help visualize the stomach and surrounding areas for tumours or other signs of cancer.

Remember, you're not alone – support groups, best cancer treatment facilities and a healthy lifestyle can make a big difference.

Currently, there’s no routine screening for stomach cancer in young adults who don't have symptoms. But, if you’re at higher risk—say, if you have a family history of the disease or have been diagnosed with conditions like H. pylori infection—your doctor might recommend regular check-ups or early screening.

It’s a good idea to discuss it with your doctor. They can decide if you need special tests based on your symptoms and family history.

Treatment Options Available for Stomach Cancer

Treatment Type

1.Surgery

Surgery

  • Removes part or all of the stomach
  • Sometimes includes nearby lymph nodes
  • Typically performed if the cancer is localized

2.Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for Leukemia | Moffitt

  • Uses drugs to kill cancer cells
  • Often administered before surgery to shrink tumors
  • It can also be used after surgery to eliminate remaining cancer cells
  • May be combined with radiation to increase the effectiveness

3.Radiation Therapy

Radiation Therapy

  • Employs high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells
  • Used alongside chemotherapy
  • It can be used post-surgery to prevent recurrence

4. Targeted Therapy

Targeted Therapy

  • Involves drugs that target cancerous cells
  • Targets based on genetic markers
  • Sparing more normal cells from damage

5. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy

  • Boosts the immune system to recognize better and combat cancer cells
  • Suited for tumors with specific molecular profiles

Why Personalized Treatment Plans Matter

Personalized treatment plans are crucial as they consider the unique aspects of the individual's cancer and general health, combining various therapies to optimize outcomes and reduce side effects.

Your oncology team will discuss the most effective treatment options for your specific situation.

How do you handle the daily challenges of living with stomach cancer? 

Living with Stomach Cancer

Managing this condition involves more than medical treatments; it's about adjusting your daily life to cope with the symptoms and improve your health. 

  • Managing Symptoms:
    • Pain Management: Use prescribed medications and relaxation techniques like meditation to help control pain.
    • Diet Adjustments: Eat small, frequent meals instead of large ones, which can help manage feelings of fullness and reduce discomfort.
    • Staying Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to help digestion and avoid dehydration.
  • Nutritional Advice:
    • Easy-to-Digest Foods: Opt for soft, bland foods that are easier on your stomach, such as bananas, rice.
    • Avoid Irritants: Steer clear of spicy, acidic, or fried foods that can aggravate your stomach.
    • Nutrient-Rich Choices: Include protein-rich foods to help maintain your strength, like lean meats, eggs, and dairy, if tolerated (Only if doctors recommend).
  • Lifestyle Adjustments:
    • Regular Exercise: Engage in light activities such as walking or yoga, which can help maintain your energy levels and health.
    • Stress Reduction: Try stress-relief techniques such as breathing exercises, yoga, or spending time on hobbies that relax you.

Stay positive and manage day-to-day challenges by making practical adjustments with our support. Schedule a consultation to discuss your recovery from stomach cancer.

Conclusion

Stomach cancer in young adults might seem unexpected, but by understanding the risk factors and recognizing the symptoms, you can take charge of your health. Early detection is critical, and with advancements in treatment, there's a lot of hope for young adults facing this diagnosis.



FAQs

Is stomach cancer hereditary?
Stomach cancer can be hereditary, especially in cases with a family history of the disease.

What are the long-term effects of stomach cancer treatment?
Long-term effects of stomach cancer treatment can include nutritional deficiencies and changes in digestion.

What lifestyle changes can I make to reduce my risk of stomach cancer?
To reduce the risk of stomach cancer, adopt a diet low in processed foods and rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoid smoking.

Reference

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6983757/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2210261223008878

https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/many-younger-patients-with-stomach-cancer-have-a-distinct-disease-mayo-research-discovers/

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Question and Answers

Sir my mother has been affected by peri ampullary carcinoma. She is 45 years old now. I need help from you. In the world i don't have anyone except my mother.

Female | 45

This form of cancer causes symptoms such as jaundice, weight loss, and belly pain. It starts when cells near the ampulla of Vater begin growing out of control. Treatment typically involves surgery followed by chemotherapy. You must collaborate closely with her physician to determine the most effective course of action for your mother. Be strong and be there for her during this difficult time.

Answered on 10th June '24

Dr. Sridhar Susheela

Dr. Sridhar Susheela

Does cancer come back in everyone who is cured after treatment?

Male | 22

When an individual undergoes treatment and the disease fades away, it’s a relief. Nonetheless, there are times when it recurs after going into remission. It is contingent on the kind of malignancy one has as well as the method used for healing it. Signs that can indicate its reoccurrence may be similar to those experienced during the first onset such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue, or formation of new masses. To avoid its resurgence, you need to keep seeing your doctor for regular checkups besides living healthily. 

Answered on 11th June '24

Dr. Sridhar Susheela

Dr. Sridhar Susheela

He is infected of perenial fistula. And for years ,almost 9 surgeries was operated for him. And his colonscopy result before 1 and half year said normal. But now when MRI is taken ,shows some small tumors and may be T4N1MX adenocarcinoma cancer IS created but the other results like colonoscopy says normal , biopsy result says non diagnostic, CT SCAN result says it is better for him to take the test after 6 months, the blood test says normal and other organs like kidney, liver...are all normal. He has normal medical result apart from the cancer and now he is taking chemiotherapy treatment so what shall I do

Male | 64

When you have adenocarcinoma, you must stick to the treatment plan your doctor gives you. Chemotherapy is used often for treating this type of cancer. Just try to follow the treatment schedule, eat well, and get enough rest. 

Answered on 6th June '24

Dr. Ganesh Nagarajan

Dr. Ganesh Nagarajan

I am suffering from severe stomach pain due to colon cancer stage 4, any medicine for pain relief

Male | 53

This pain occurs because the tumor is pressing on your belly inside. To relieve it, the doctor can prescribe you stronger drugs than those sold in the drugstore. These medicines are designed to ease the pain and make you comfortable. Keep telling your doctor how you feel so that they can change the medication when necessary to control the pain effectively.

Answered on 23rd May '24

Dr. Sridhar Susheela

Dr. Sridhar Susheela

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