Being knowledgeable about the warning signs of stomach cancer is crucial as it can go undetected for years. This type of cancer, also known as gastric cancer, affects the stomach's lining first before spreading to other areas. Changes in the stomach lining occur when it is infected by a bacteria known as H. pylori - a major risk factor of the disease.
Because most people do not show any symptoms of stomach cancers, knowing what to look for before it advances is crucial.
Here are some of the early warning signs:
1. Loss of appetite
2. Losing weight without even trying
3. Abdominal pain
4. Vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel
5. A sense of fullness in the upper abdomen after eating a small meal
6. Heartburn or indigestion
8. Vomiting, with or without blood
9. Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
10. Blood in the stool
11. Low red blood cell count
12. Frequent burping
Even though many of these symptoms could also relate to an ulcer or stomach virus, it could be worth getting it checked if these issues persist. Experts have found symptoms of stomach cancer often do not appear until the disease is at an advanced stage. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult with your doctor. Treating the disease early is vital to get your health back on track.
While researchers have yet to pinpoint the exact cause of the disease, there are risk factors that can contribute to increasing your chances of developing the disease. Smoking, obesity, exposure to industrial chemicals and high salt intake are some of the major contributors.