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If you have been diagnosed with stomach cancer, your doctor will discuss your treatment options with you. Your treatment options depend on several factors, including your overall health, the stage of your cancer, your age, and your personal preference. Stomach cancer may be treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy.
Surgery for stomach cancer is performed to remove all of the stomach cancer and some of the surrounding healthy tissue, your doctor may remove early-stage tumors from the lining of your stomach, remove a portion of your stomach (subtotal gastrectomy), remove your entire stomach (total gastrectomy), and remove lymph nodes to look for cancer. All of these surgeries are performed under general anesthetic. With chemotherapy, a drug is used to kill cancer cells, while with radiation therapy, high-powered energy beams are used to kill cancer. Your doctor may also recommend targeted therapy or immunotherapy, which uses targeted drugs or your own immune system to fight cancer.
After surgery, you will need to stay in the hospital for three to eight days and stay in Beirut for seven to fourteen additional days after you are discharged. If you undergo immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or targeted therapy, your length of stay depends on how many cycles are needed for your specific case.
The total recovery time until you can return to your normal routine may take several months, but you should be able to return to work within 6 weeks. If you only have therapy, you should be able to return to most of your activities when you do not experience any symptoms that interfere with your ability to perform your duties.
You need to adjust to a new diet after the surgery so make sure to talk to a dietitian about what to eat. Regular exercise is really important to keep your body healthy, you can start walking as soon as you can. Make sure to schedule follow-up checkups with your doctor to monitor your condition and you may do this with your local doctor at home or your doctor in Beirut.
Treatment for stomach cancer is known to be effective, but the success rate varies depending on how early the treatment is performed as well as the stage of cancer. The side effects and risks of stomach cancer treatment, which include infection, bleeding, damage to other organs, problems with anesthetic, hair loss, and fatigue.
If you prefer not to undergo treatment or too frail for any type of treatment, you should consult with your doctor and cancer team on the best alternative for you. In some cases, surgery to relieve only the signs and symptoms is recommended.
Stomach cancer causes symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, pain, vomiting, and fatigue that may interfere with your daily life. It is also dangerous and it can spread to other organs. After the surgery, you should no longer experience any symptoms and you can return to your normal life.
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