Stomach Cancer Staging & Treatment
How is stomach cancer staged? Listen to Dr. Leon Yoder explain. The gastroenterologist also talks about conventional treatments commonly used to treat this digestive cancer.
Dr. Leon Yoder: Where cancer of the stomach typically begins, it's usually on the superficial or right on the inner layer of the stomach or the lining of the stomach. So it means that we can biopsy that and we'll see the cancer cells immediately. We can see the depth now of the cancer cells in the stomach by using endoscopic ultrasound. And with this technique, now we can look at the different layers, five layers of the stomach wall. We can see how deep it goes, if it goes all the way through to the last wall. Now it has a lot of importance in staging stomach cancers because it means can I have a portion of my stomach taken out. Sometimes all of the stomach needs to be taken out. If it's very superficial, treatment by surgery is oftentimes very effective. We also know that different types of cancer cells involve the stomach, which can be very amendable to chemotherapy treatments. Some of the earliest stages of stomach cancer can be caused by a bacteria called H. pylori. And H. pylori can cause a MALT lymphoma, which is a special type of lymphoma caused only by this bacteria. If it's superficial or if it's very early, it can be treated very effectively with antibiotics.