Q:

How is stomach cancer treated?

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Quick Answer

There are four treatment options for stomach cancer: surgery to remove the cancer, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or targeted therapy to kill off cancer cells within the stomach, according to Cancer.net. If the cancer has spread beyond the stomach, then these methods may be used to treat cancer that has metastasized. A combination of these methods may be employed as a total treatment plan for treating stomach cancer.

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Full Answer

Treatment for cancer of the stomach is based on a variety of factors, including the stage and style of cancer, potential side effects of treatment, and overall the health of the patient. The patient's preferences are also important in deciding which treatment or series of treatments is best in an individual cancer scenario.

When stomach cancer has not advanced and is very early in its development, a non-surgical option may be effective that involves using an endoscope to remove the tumor. Other early stage tumors may be removed with a partial or subtotal gastrectomy, which also involves removing nearby lymph nodes.

When cancer has advanced to the outer wall of the stomach, a multi-stage treatment plan using radiation or chemotherapy along with a total gastrectomy Ñcomplete removal of the stomach Ñmay be needed. Targeted therapy to treat specific tissues, proteins or genes involved in the cancer's survival may also be used.

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