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Stomach Cancer: 6 Treatment Methods Every Nigerian Should Know


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Many treatments can fight stomach cancer. The one you and your doctor choose will depend on how long you’ve had the disease or how much it has spread in your body. It can be difficult to cure stomach cancer because it is often not detected until it is at an advanced stage. The list below explains how it can be treated.

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1. Surgery:
Your doctor might remove part of your stomach or other tissues nearby that have cancer cells. Surgery gets rid of the tumor and stops cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. If your disease is in a more advanced stage, your doctor might need to remove all of your stomach. Some tumors can keep food from moving in and out of your stomach. In that case, you might have surgery to put in a stent, a device that keeps the pathways open.

2. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells. Patients with stomach cancer usually receive external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body. Radiation therapy may be used before surgery to shrink the size of the tumor or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. Side effects from radiation therapy include: fatigue, mild skin reactions, upset stomach, and loose bowel movements.Most side effects go away soon after treatment is finished.

3. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells, usually by stopping the cancer cells’ ability to grow and divide. Chemotherapy is given by a medical oncologist, a doctor who specializes in treating cancer with medication.

4. Chemoradiation: Your doctor might use this mix of chemotherapy and radiation to shrink your tumor before surgery.

5. Targeted Drugs: These newer drugs are different because they fight only cancer cells. Other treatments, like chemo and radiation, can kill healthy cells along with diseased ones. As a result, targeted therapies have fewer side effects than these other treatments.

6. Biological Therapy: Doctors can use a biological therapy known as trastuzumab (Herceptin) as a first treatment for some people with stomach cancer that has spread to other parts of the body. It only works if their cancer cells have receptors for Herceptin (HER2 positive cancer).
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Self-medication/treatment is not the way out. It is advisable you see your doctor for proper treatment.

PS: This information put together as a guide are culled from health-related articles on websites, journals, and videos.

READ: Stomach Cancer: 13 Important Things Every Nigerian Should Know
Stomach Cancer: 11 Symptoms You Should Check
 
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