(HealthDay) —New treatment options offer hope to patients with stomach cancer.
Also known as stomach cancer, the disease is the world’s sixth most common cancer with 1.09 million new cases by 2020, according to the World Health Organization.
It is an abnormal growth of cells that can affect any part of the stomach but is typically formed in the main body.
“I tell patients who have recently been diagnosed with stomach cancer that there is hope,” said Dr. Mohamad Sonbol, a cancer specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.
“We now have many more treatment options than before,” he said in a press release from the clinic.
When the cancer has not spread, surgery is among them. It is the only curative approach for patients with localized or locally advanced gastric cancer. Other treatments, such as systemic therapy and radiation, increase the chances of cure and reduce the risk of the cancer returning.
Some immunotherapies are standard treatment for stomach cancer and some are in current studies.
Among the new options for treating stomach cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is a cure that combines chemotherapy with nivolumab, an immunotherapeutic drug.
One option for patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer that has spread is fam-trastuzumab deruxtecan-nxki, which is administered by infusion.
The Mayo Clinic describes chemotherapy as killing cells all over the body and immunotherapy as waking up the immune system to fight cancer. While chemo works for a while and then stops when immunotherapy works, it is usually for a long time. Experts decide which cure to choose based on different measurements of the cancer cells.
Doctors typically diagnose the disease through endoscopy, where the digestive tract is examined using a flexible tube with a light and camera attached to it. If it detects stomach cancer, they can use CT and PET scans to gather more information, according to Mayo Clinic specialists.
Unlike in East Asia, where stomach cancer is more common, screening for stomach cancer is not recommended for most Americans. However, it can be used for those at higher risk. They include people who are overweight, tobacco and alcohol users, and people with a family history of cancer.
What’s new in treatment and research in stomach cancer
The American Cancer Society has more on stomach cancer.
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Citation: What You Need to Know About Stomach Cancer (2021, November 25) Retrieved November 26, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-stomach-cancer.html
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