Stomach cancer stays in the focus of medical attention worldwide, as currently the majority of cases are diagnosed at advanced stages when treatment options are limited and prognosis is poor. That is why specialists from German clinics work on minimally invasive or non-invasive diagnostic tests for early disease detection. Revealing highly specific biomarkers allows more efficient prevention and curative treatment. In addition, conventional surgical therapy is now supplemented by targeted drugs and immunotherapy for better killing the remaining malignant cells.
Symptoms of stomach malignancies
According to the data of National Cancer Institute, which is the specialized department of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, patients with gastric cancer do not experience any early signs or symptoms. Regrettably, this means that a patient does not know anything about his condition until the tumor reaches an advanced stage.
The advanced gastric tumors reveal themselves with:
- Pain or discomfort in the stomach.
- Unintended weight loss.
- Feeling full after eating not much.
- Feeling bloated after eating.
- Severe indigestion, heartburn.
- Unexplained, persistent nausea and vomiting.
If you have worrying symptoms, make an appointment with your general practitioner. A doctor will investigate the most common causes of such signs first.
Diagnostic of stomach cancer in Germany starts from physical examination. In revealing the suspicious signs, a doctor will recommend more extensive tests for the diagnosis validation:
- Blood tests, including test for cancer markers and presence of the H. pylori bacteria.
- Gastrointestinal endoscopy which is the direct examination of the upper gastrointestinal tract via thin tube with tiny camera and light source.
- Biopsy which is harvesting a tissue sample from the suspicious region with the subsequent histological examination. Biopsy may be performed during the endoscopic examination.
- Imaging tests like CT scans and X-ray examination are performed if a doctor suspects the disease progression. They reflect state of the stomach itself and the neighboring organs.
- Exploratory surgery is performed in the complicated cases, when it is impossible to confirm the diagnosis with the help of other above mentioned tests.
After receiving results of the comprehensive examination, the stage of gastric cancer is determined. Depending on the process advancement, stages from I to IV are distinguished.
A doctor chooses the most beneficial for the patient treatment scheme considering his age, general health state, stage of stomach cancer, histological type and localization of the tumor, etc. Each therapeutic option is discussed with the patient, so he has all the information about possible risks and benefits.
- Surgery includes removing the tumor and affected by the oncologic process organs. Depending on the cancer spreading, a surgeon may perform endoscopic mucosal resection, subtotal or total gastrectomy, lymph node dissection.
- Radiation therapy with X-rays or protons is performed before surgery in order to shrink a tumor and facilitate its removal, or after surgery in order to kill any remaining cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy is typically given in the same time periods as the radiation therapy. These therapeutic options may be performed simultaneously as they enhance each other’s action.
- Targeted drugs attack unique molecules of the malignant cells. Currently, trastuzumab is approved for the treatment of HER2-positive tumors, and ramucirumab is approved for the treatment of resistant tumors. Other targeted drugs are under investigation yet.
Treating stomach cancer abroad with Booking Health
Undergoing treatment in the leading oncological and gastroenterological hospitals of Germany will be easier with assistance of Booking Health. Booking Health has been organizing treatment abroad for over 15 years. In each case the hospital is selected considering its performance indicators and price of the services provided.
In addition, Booking Health offers help in other important aspects:
- Establishing communication with the selected treating physician.
- Preparing the preliminary medical program based on the results of previous examinations.
- Making the appointment on the desired date.
- Paying attention to excluding additional fees and overpricing (saving up to 50%).
- Monitoring all stages of the medical program.
- Help in buying medications and medical products.
- Keeping up communication with the clinic, receiving all the medical reports.
- Double-check of the final calculation.
- Organization of additional and follow-up examinations, rehabilitation.
- Offering organizational service of the highest level: booking hotels and plane tickets, transfer.