Stomach Cancer Causes and Diagnosis in Seniors
Age is one of the risk factors for stomach cancer. Basically, the disease may be diagnosed in older people after the age of 55. The average age of this type of cancer is 71 years. The odds of gastric cancer in men are about two times high than in women. In a smoker, the probability of developing stomach cancer is doubled compared to a non-smoker. The fact is that in the process of smoking a part of tobacco smoke enters the stomach, where it damages the cells of the mucous membrane and causes their mutation.
Helicobacter pylori: In most cases, the bacterium Helicobacter pylori is harmless to the human body, but in a small percentage of people it can cause stomach ulcers, recurrent bouts of indigestion or chronic inflammation of the gastric membrane (chronic atrophic gastritis). According to studies, these diseases increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.
Nutrition: The presence of a large amount of pickled, salted, smoked food in the diet can contribute to the occurrence of a cancerous tumor. The probability of stomach cancer may increase if the cancer was diagnosed in close relatives – parents, brothers or sisters. In addition, it may be associated with a specific set of genes inherited from the parents.
Oncological diseases. Previously diagnosed cancers might also lead to gastric cancer in older adults. The probability of its development is increased if a person has already been diagnosed with malignant neoplasms of the esophagus, prostate, bladder or testicles (for men), ovaries, mammary glands, cervix (for women). Diagnosis:
Gastroscopy allows to detect the presence of changes in the stomach, visualize the tumor, assess the condition of the affected tissues. When carrying out fluoroscopy of the stomach, a contrast agent is injected into the patient. In the future, an X-ray image shows whether the size or shape of the stomach is changed, the size of the tumor (if any), how much the elasticity of the tissues of the gastric walls is changed, etc.
Ultrasound examination of the abdominal organs and adjacent lymph nodes makes it possible to detect metastases. A laparoscopic examination is possible in case of late diagnosis of gastric cancer in elderly people. This method makes it possible to assess how much the disease has spread, whether neighboring organs are affected and whether metastases have passed to the liver and peritoneum.
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