Stomach Cancer Treatment
Hearing this news is devastating and then you feel an urge to take the decision about the treatment very fast. But, take some time and ask your doctor a few questions before you finally decide which treatment option you want to opt. Know about your stomach cancer, its stage, and its prognosis and then decide.
Stomach cancer treatment requires a multidisciplinary approach where a team of doctors works in unison for your betterment. Your team of doctors usually includes:
- A gastroenterologist who is a super-specialized doctor in the treatment of diseases of the digestive system.
- A radiation oncologist: Doctor who will plan and manage your radiation therapy
- A surgery oncologist: Your surgical plan and procedure will be performed by this doctor
- A medical oncologist: Will take care of your chemotherapy
You should know the different treatment modalities present for stomach cancer. These include:
- Surgical treatment
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted therapy
Often, your doctor will use two or three modalities in unison depending on your condition and the stage and type of cancer. Cancer is of many types so before you start taking a treatment you should be well aware of the target of the modality whether it is to cure cancer or to relieve symptoms and control it. Some cancers are incurable and then the doctors try to relieve you from pain, bleeding, and discomfort.
If you want to take a second opinion before starting with any treatment plan, feel free to do so. But it is highly advisable to stick with one team of doctors after initiating a treatment.
Stage of Stomach Cancer and Treatment Choice
Stage of cancer determines the extent and severity of the stomach cancer. So, along with other factors like age, health etc. stage of cancer is the most important factor to determine the treatment modality.
Stage O: In this stage, cancer has yet not spread to the deeper lining of the stomach and involves only the inner lining. So, the treatment usually involves only surgery. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are not given. Surgical modality is used to remove the cancerous part. It can be either subtotal gastrectomy (removal of a part of the stomach) or total gastrectomy (removal of entire stomach). Lymph nodes are also removed in this surgery.In some cases of Stage 0 cancer, endoscopic resection is also done.
Stage I (A): In most of the stage IA stomach cancers, surgical removal by subtotal or total gastrectomy is the usual most effective treatment. It requires the removal of lymph nodes also. Endoscopic resection is not preferred in this case.
Stage I (B): In this case, surgical modality is chosen along with chemoradiation or chemotherapy alone. The purpose here is usually to shrink cancer before the surgery so that it is easily removable. At the time of surgery along with subtotal or total gastrectomy, lymph nodes are also removed. These lymph nodes are sent for the inspection of signs of cancer.
If not found, surgical treatment is sometimes followed with the same chemotherapy as before or a combination of chemo and radiation therapy is used. If the lymph nodes show evidence of cancer, then a more aggressive treatment plan is required and it usually includes chemotherapy and radiation therapy depending on patient’s condition.
Stage II: In this stage of cancer, surgical excision of the stomach, momentum, and lymph nodes is done. If the patient is very sick and cannot undergo a surgery, then chemoradiation or chemotherapy are started. In some case, chemoradiation is also used before surgery to shrink the size of cancer before surgery.
Stage III: This stage usually requires surgical treatment as the first line of treatment. Some patients receive chemo before the surgery to shrink the size of cancer. These patients usually require the same chemo after surgery as well. In other patients, surgery is followed by chemoradiation.
If a person is too unwell and if any other underlying medical condition does not allow the use of surgical treatment, then, radiation or chemoradiation are used.
Stage IV: In this stage, cancer has usually spread to distant organs and thus, the cure is not possible. So, the treatment is usually supportive. It includes surgeries like subtotal gastrectomy or gastric bypass to stop blockages. Laser ablation of the tumor can be done. Chemotherapy is started and radiation therapy is also given. Targeted therapy and immunotherapy are part of the treatment plan for this type of cancer. Nutrition is taken care of and the aim is mainly to avoid any bleeding and relieve the patient of pain.
In case of cancers like stomach cancer, clinical trials and newer treatment modalities are also an option and can be considered by the patient.
Cost of Cancer Treatment
Due to our long-standing association, we are able to ensure lowest treatment cost for our patients for cancer diagnosis and treatment. We ensure treatment through most advanced LINAC i.e. TrueBeam. At the same time, our rates are lowest in India.
- Cost of PET Scan is USD 200
- Any Cancer Surgery will be provided within USD 4500 - 6000
- Chemotherapy per cycle: USD 450
- Radiation Treatment : USD 2500 - 5000