90% of stomach cancers can be cured if detected early

Stomach cancer detected in the early stages, when the tumor is just formed, can be cured over 90%.

Stomach cancer is currently one of the 5 most common cancers globally. In Vietnam, the disease has the third highest mortality rate, after liver cancer and lung cancer, according to Globocan 2020.

Doctor, Dr. Vu Truong Khanh, Head of Gastroenterology - Hepatobiliary - Pancreatic Department, Tam Anh General Hospital in Hanoi, said that stomach cancer tends to be younger. Many cases of stomach cancer are found under 45, even patients under 30 years old. If the disease is detected at an early stage, the chances of successful treatment are high, the cure rate is over 90%, the 5-year survival rate is 93-97%.

In the early stages, cancer cells are located only in the mucosal layer, where the mucus of the stomach is made. Cancer has not invaded or has descended into the mucosa but does not exceed 500 micrometers. If the entire cancer is removed, the disease can be cured.

However, people with the disease in the early stages often have no symptoms or have symptoms of indigestion such as abdominal pain; fullness, burning in the epigastrium after eating; eat fast. As the cancer progresses, vomiting, jaundice, signs of digestive disorders occur continuously, and pain below the sternum is more intense. The patient also has other signs of injury such as vomiting blood, bloody stools or black stools. Poor absorption of nutrients leads to rapid weight loss, anemia, dizziness, dizziness, and prolonged fatigue. At this time, cancer cannot be completely cured.

Early signs of stomach cancer such as abdominal pain, fast eating.... are often easily confused with stomach diseases. Photo: Freepik

According to Dr. Khanh, because early signs of stomach cancer are not specific, patients are subjectively not screened early, often accidentally discovered through endoscopy. Most patients in Vietnam (more than 95%) find the disease in advanced or metastatic stage. The patient is no longer able to operate or is still able to operate but relapses within 5 years. The 5-year survival rate is just under 20%.

Dr. Khanh said that gastrointestinal endoscopy is currently the "gold standard" for early gastric cancer diagnosis. The technique is fast and uncomplicated, especially endoscopically with anesthesia. If you don't want to have an anaesthetic endoscopy, you can opt for a flexible nasal endoscopy, which helps reduce discomfort. The doctor can observe a direct, true image of the surface of the stomach lining.

Flexible bronchoscopy technology with narrow frequency band NBI, using light with large wavelength, image magnified more than 100 times to help detect complex lesions, small size. The doctor can clearly observe the gastric mucosal surface structure and morphological characteristics of the microvascular network, thereby, determining whether the lesion is benign or malignant.

Through endoscopy, the doctor can take samples for histopathology to diagnose cancer. If the cancer is at an early stage, the patient can be treated with endoscopic resection and minimally invasive mucosal resection. Patients do not need gastric bypass surgery or adjuvant chemotherapy, so they can avoid postoperative complications, quick recovery time, and discharge after 2-3 days.

People at high risk such as over 40 years old; a history of stomach diseases or a family history of stomach cancer; fat; If you regularly smoke, drink alcohol, you should have a regular gastroscopy.

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