Adenocarcinomas are the most prevalent type of stomach (gastric) cancer. It usually develops from the mucosa, from the cells that form the deepest lining of the stomach. Usually, the disease grows slowly over many years.
Stomach cancer at its early stage usually does not cause any signs or symptoms. Possible signs of later stage stomach cancer include vomiting, dark blood in the stool, and unintentional weight loss. Other symptoms may include poor appetite, feeling bloated after eating a small meal, nausea, heartburn, or indigestion.
Diagnostics tests begin first and foremost as always with a physical exam. Some additional examinations may include:
- Blood tests include the customary Complete Blood Count (CBC) and a differential (diff) test for the numbers of the various types of white blood cells and a blood smear to see how the blood cells look under the microscope.
- Imaging tests, such as CT, an ultrasound or X-ray, can indicate whether cancer has metastasized to the brain, testicles, or other parts of the body.
- Cytogenetic analysis: looking for changes in chromosomes to plan treatment, or find out the effectiveness of the treatment. ALL can be positive for the Philadelphia chromosome, which means that part of one chromosome changes places with part of another chromosome.
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy – during the procedure, the doctor uses a needle to collect a sample of bone marrow, usually from the hipbone. Both the aspiration and the biopsy are used to diagnose leukemia.
- Spinal fluid test- during the tap, the doctor collects a sample of fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The sample is tested to see whether ALL had spread to the spinal cord and brain.
The purpose of the available treatment is to kill leukemia cells that have spread or may spread to the brain, spinal cord, chest, or other organs in the body. The standard treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, chemotherapy with stem cell transplant, and targeted therapy. New types of treatment, such as CAR T-cell therapy, a new type of immunotherapy have recently become available.
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