Stomach cancer is where an abnormal growth of tumour cells has developed in your stomach (the organ which digests your meal). This can lead to symptoms such as reflux, pain, trouble swallowing, loss of weight or passage of internal bleeding. Sometimes it is picked up incidentally during an endoscopy or xray scan. The growth may stay localised to where it began, or it may grow into surrounding structures or spread to lymph glands or other parts of the body. This relates to the stage of the disease. Management is very specialised and requires diagnosis, tests to establish the extent of disease and a determination of how to treat it. This treatment may be one or a combination of endoscopic removal (removed internally with a gastroscope passed down the throat), surgery (involving reconstruction of the stomach), chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Patients will be discussed at specialist multidisciplinary team meetings to optimise management and planning.
Surgery can usually be performed laparoscopically (keyhole) to aid recovery. The part of the stomach with the cancer in it is removed along with lymph glands. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the whole stomach - people can still aim to eat normal food usually but in smaller portion sizes. Surgery should be undertaken by a surgeon and team experienced in performing surgery on the stomach and for cancer.
Dr. Le Page is regularly involved with management of patients with stomach cancer and he audits the outcomes of his patients to ensure the highest standard of care. If you feel a specialist review may be indicated for you, please discuss with your GP and call (02) 9767 7908 to arrange an appointment with Dr. Le Page. Your individual circumstance will be clarified by Dr. Le Page during your review.