Everyone knows what it’s like to experience a stomachache every now and then, or any kind of stomach-related discomfort. Perhaps that is why so many people tend to overlook the early symptoms of stomach cancer.
Even though pain is not one of the first signs of this disease, the truth is that stomach cancer is so tricky that you won’t probably think of any of the symptoms as a warning.
Simple signs like heartburn, nausea, bloating, or just general discomfort can be a cause for concern, and because stomach cancer symptoms are so often dismissed, the diagnose might only be able to catch this disease when it’s at an advanced stage. Hence, regular visits to your doctor and medical exams are recommended, but if you are suspicious that something is wrong, ask specifically for a stomach cancer test.
Either way, it’s always good to be on the lookout, so here are seven early signs of stomach cancer you should pay attention to!
1. Unexpected Weight Loss
One of the most concerning symptoms known to stomach cancer patients is a sudden weight loss that occurs due to their lack of appetite. The fact that many people affected by this condition don’t feel hungry often causes them to lose weight without even having to try.
2. Experiencing Chronic Fatigue
Everyone feels tired every now and then, and it’s perfectly normal since most people live busy and accelerated lives. But experiencing constant fatigue is not normal, and it can happen as a result of slow blood loss.
If you combine this with the unexpected weight loss we have mentioned before, you have a really strong sign that something might be wrong with your health. This type of slow blood loss may also lead to other conditions, like anemia.
3. You Notice Blood On Your Vomit Or Stool
This symptom is not the most common one, but it can happen in some severe cases. Like we have mentioned before, there is a chance you will experience blood loss as a stomach cancer patient, and if you happen to lose a lot of blood, it may show up on both your stool and your vomit.
4. You Don’t Eat Much, But You Feel Full
You used to feel like you had a bottomless stomach. Still, suddenly, every tiny bite you take makes you feel full and satiated – this is something you should be worrying about, especially if it’s a persistent symptom. Talk things through with your doctor to figure out what is going on.
5. Your Bathroom Habits Seem To Have Changed
More or less, everyone has some sort of a pattern when it comes to bowel habits, whether it’s a consistent pattern or not.
But if all of a sudden you are experiencing unusually long periods of constipation, or, on the opposite side, a severe case of diarrhea that doesn’t seem to go away, you should get checked by a professional.
6. Persistent Gastrointestinal Symptoms
As mentioned before, it’s perfectly normal to experience some gastrointestinal symptoms like a bloated stomach, nausea, or even acid reflux.
But when those symptoms are persistent, that is when you have to start worrying about them. Go to your doctor if you have been feeling stomach-related discomfort for more than two or three days.
7. New Gastrointestinal Symptoms
Imagine that you are a person who usually suffers from stomach aches but has never really experienced stomach reflux before, and all of a sudden, you do, and no matter how hard you try, you don’t seem to get better. Consult with a specialist and get a proper diagnose – it could be nothing, but it could also be something…
The Good News
Like we have mentioned before, gastrointestinal symptoms can be shared by various stomach related conditions, so you don’t have to panic right away. In fact, stomach cancer seems to be on the decline, at least in the United States, with only 2% of all diagnoses attributed to this type of cancer.
And why is this happening? Well, one of the most known stomach cancer causes was the late diagnosis of the presence of a bacteria known as H. pylori, responsible for causing chronic inflammation in patient’s stomachs, which can later turn into ulcers or cancer.
The early diagnosis of this bacteria and its eradication in the organism results in a decreased risk of contracting stomach cancer. Plus, modern medicine has made stomach cancer treatments much more effective, which has improved the stomach cancer survival rate over the years.
Are There Any Risk Factors When It Comes To Stomach Cancer?
Everyone might have cancer during their lifetime, but some lifestyle habits and other factors can increase the likelihood and development of the disease, such as:
• Being male – Stomach cancer seems to affect more males than females
• Having stomach surgery to treat ulcers
• Genetic Disorders
• Being a smoker
• Age – The risk of developing cancer increases with age
• Having type A blood
• Having a family history of stomach cancer
• Consuming too much cured meats, salted fish or smoked foods
Of course, there are some adjustments you can make to your routine and lifestyle to prevent stomach cancer. Engaging in regular exercise, avoiding unhealthy foods, and trying to have a healthy and diverse diet can help you prevent this disease while improving your overall health.