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Esophageal / stomach cancer surgery

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Stomach and oesophagal cancers are the lower in incidence but accord nevertheless. Patients diagnosed with stomach cancer often first notice a general discomfort in the stomach, loss of appetite, weight loss and vomiting. Patients diagnosed with oesophagal cancer start with concerns about difficulty or pain during swallowing, weight loss, or a cough and hoarseness.

Diagnosis of the stomach and oesophageal cancers are done by screening. Screening is generally done with a procedure called an upper endoscopy. While the patient is anaesthetized, the doctor inserts a flexible tube with a miniature camera down the oesophagus, viewing all areas of the upper part gastrointestinal (GI) tract: the oesophagus, the stomach and the duodenum, the first section of the small intestine. If cancer is revealed, the next test is for levels of advancement and may include Endoscopic ultrasound examination, CT or PET Scan, Bronchoscopy and Laparoscopy.

Treatment of both these types on cancer may be a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Surgery may be necessary to remove cancerous tissue, as well as nearby noncancerous tissue. The most common operation for stomach cancer is called gastrectomy. If part of the stomach is removed, it is called a subtotal or partial gastrectomy. If the entire stomach is removed, it is called a total gastrectomy.

Oesophagal cancer surgery may be of two types. In one type of surgery, part of the oesophagus and nearby lymph nodes are removed, and the remaining portion of the oesophagus is reconnected to the stomach. In the other surgery, part of the oesophagus, nearby lymph nodes, and the top of the stomach are removed. The remaining portion of the oesophagus is then reconnected to the stomach.

Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumours. Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to treat cancerous cells. In most cases, chemotherapy works by interfering with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce.