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Stomach cancer symptoms and treatment in children

 Stomach cancer symptoms and treatment in children

Stomach cancer symptoms and treatment in children

The concept of stomach cancer and what are the risk factors for stomach cancer? What are the symptoms of stomach cancer in children? Can it be cured? What are the ways to treat and prevent it?

Stomach cancer begins with an abnormal division of gastric cells and their transformation into an abnormal and ineffective shape, which makes the stomach, which is an important organ in the digestive tract, at risk, especially in children. 

The disease in their child and early detection, then work on the most effective treatment, and this is what we will go into in this article.


What is stomach cancer?

Cancer includes diseases that are manifested by abnormal growth of cells, so they divide outside the control and control of the body and its severity varies according to the affected organ and the degree to which the disease has reached. or his failure.

What applies to cancer, in general, applies to stomach cancer in children. This abnormal growth invades the stomach cells of the affected child, especially the upper parts of it. 

The tumor in the stomach may be benign and unable to move from the stomach to the rest of the organs or be offensive, i.e. malignant. It should be noted that stomach cancer is a rare disease in those under the age of 50 years.


Symptoms of stomach cancer in children

Sometimes stomach cancer is considered a fatal disease because its symptoms are ignored, especially as it overlaps with many other diseases, so it is necessary to know the symptoms of the disease well to seek the doctor’s help as soon as it occurs, which helps reduce the risk, and these symptoms include:

Dysphagia: 

that is, the affected child has a problem transferring food from the mouth to the stomach, and stomach cancer is one of the reasons that lead to difficulty swallowing, and the disease must be addressed quickly in the sick child to avoid malnutrition or suffocation with food and its entry into the airway.

Heartburn: 

Described as a burning pain directly behind the sternum that worsens after eating or when lying down, and occurs when part of the stomach acid returns to the esophagus, and heartburn is dangerous when it coincides with other digestive symptoms.

Feeling bloated after eating: 

The feeling of bloating is common, especially after eating certain foods such as legumes, as gases accumulate in the stomach and press on the neighboring structures, which causes the patient to feel distressed and in pain. These gases for a long time, and must then consult a doctor.

Nausea:

 Nausea is a common symptom, i.e. most diseases of the digestive system, and refers to the feeling of vomiting. 

This feeling is concentrated in the throat or upper abdomen. The danger of vomiting lies in dehydration and fluid loss, especially in children. 

Nausea caused by cancer is usually described as persistent nausea that does not end with vomiting.

Abdominal pain: 

a feeling of fullness after eating a meal, weight loss, and vomiting are also symptoms that you should pay attention to and consult a doctor as soon as they occur and coincide with the previous symptoms and risk factors.

Diagnosis of stomach cancer in children

Diagnosing stomach cancer in its early stages provides a great opportunity to receive treatment promptly, and there are several ways to investigate the disease, some of which require making an incision in the abdomen and entering the stomach, and others are using x-rays and lasers, and the diagnosis usually begins when digestive symptoms appear such as pain in the stomach and difficulty swallowing and linking them with Risk factors that enhance the chances of infection, and these methods are used:

Gastroscopy: 

is the most common method for diagnosing stomach cancer, as an endoscope equipped with a camera and a light called an endoscope is used to enter the stomach to detect the presence of a tumor mass, a stomach ulcer, or a condensation in the inner stomach wall, and a biopsy is usually taken from the stomach wall for microscopic examination.

Computerized Tomography (CT)2_: 

A test is performed especially to obtain high-quality images that are analyzed by the computer. 

It is used to see if cancer has spread outside the stomach and to determine the thickness of the stomach wall. Parents are asked to stay near their child to calm him down. The procedure may take up to 30 minutes.

Endoscopy with ultrasound (endoscopy): 

In this procedure, the doctor inserts a thin tube with a camera into the stomach with an ultrasound tool to take pictures of the child's stomach. 

The doctor determines the degree of cancer penetration into the stomach wall and the stage it has reached.

Investigative surgery: 

It is usually performed with an endoscope and several small holes are opened through the abdomen to insert it. 

Through the camera, the stomach and abdomen are probed and the extent of cancer has spread through the abdomen to the chest and adjacent stomachs.

Blood tests: 

They are used to measure organ function and the possibility of cancer in the stomach or other organs.

Stomach cancer treatment in children

The method and duration of treatment depend on the stage of the disease, the extent of the sick child’s acceptance of treatment, and his general health. Treatment methods include:

Surgery and gastrectomy: 

The surgery aims to remove the entire tumor and part of the healthy area as a safety factor, and the removal process may affect the entire stomach or part of it or the surrounding lymph nodes only, and sometimes surgery may be a way to relieve the signs and symptoms of the disease in children with late degrees of cancer.

Chemotherapy: 

It relies on very strong chemical medicinal substances that destroy cancer cells inside and outside the stomach, and they are often given intravenously. 

The mechanism of action of these substances varies depending on the substance derived from them, some of which destroy the DNA of cancer cells, and some of them destroy protein carriers and organelles during division.

Chemotherapy can be used to reduce the size of the tumor before it is surgically removed Or even after surgery to ensure complete recovery and have bad side effects that affect healthy body cells in the child, so it is necessary to continue conducting tests to monitor the development of cancer and give the doctor an idea of ​​the number of required and appropriate doses.

Palliative care: 

This care is provided by a group of specialized doctors and nurses and aims to improve the life of the child with cancer and his family and relieve pain. 

It is used in addition to previous treatments such as surgery and radiotherapy, giving hope to the patient who may live a longer life and become more accepting of treatment.

Radiation therapy: 

It uses X-rays and high-energy protons coming from a specialized device that revolves around the patient and directs the rays towards a precise point in the body to destroy cells by destroying their genetic material responsible for the division and reproduction of cancer cells 

while trying to avoid destroying the neighboring normal cells that (Once destroyed) they have a greater ability to regenerate themselves than cancerous cells exposed to radiation.

Immunotherapy: 

A drug treatment used to help the body's immune system recognize cancer cells, produces proteins that make it more difficult for a child's immune system to recognize abnormal cells in the stomach as dangerous cells that must be destroyed. 

Immunotherapy can be used if stomach cancer develops or returns again. Or even spread to other parts of the body.

Preventing stomach cancer in children

It is necessary to know the methods of preventing stomach cancer and take them into account as much as possible, especially in children who have the previously mentioned risk factors:


A healthy diet: 

by avoiding smoked and salty foods that damage the stomach lining, which is the protective and defensive layer in it, making the stomach more susceptible to cancer, and fresh food and fruits must be eaten instead of salted or kept for a long time in the refrigerator.

Treating Helicobacter pylori infection: 

infection with this bacteria can change the nature and shape of the stomach cells, making them susceptible to turning into an abnormal cancerous form, 

so when you suspect symptoms of infection, you must consult a doctor and take appropriate measures before the infection escalates to cancer, 

and infection can be avoided by Infecting children by taking care of personal hygiene and washing hands after using the toilet and before eating.

Early detection and exercise: 

Going to the doctor as soon as you feel the symptoms of stomach cancer plays an important role in preventing the development of symptoms and disease to stages where treatment becomes ineffective and the disease is fatal, and exercise may prevent stomach cancer.

Genetic testing for high-risk: 

Doctors recommend that people with a family history of stomach cancer undergo genetic testing, and if these tests indicate a mutation in the CDH1 gene, gastrectomy may be performed as a preventive agent, although this may have implications In the long term, for the patient.

Reducing weight: 

Studies show that following a diet and reducing weight reduces the risk of stomach cancer.

Factors that increase the risk of stomach cancer in children

It should be noted that the causes of stomach cancer have not been clearly identified, but there are several factors that increase the risk of developing it and help in one way or another the development of the disease, whether in children or adults, and these factors include:

Helicobacter pylori: 

It is a bacterium that infects the digestive tract and is transmitted through the mouth and can infect 50% of children, but in most infected people it does not cause any symptoms, but a long-term infection of the child may lead to the development of ulcers and stomach cancer.

Diet: 

The risk of stomach cancer increases when eating a lot of salty foods and pickles, which negatively affect the gastric mucosa, and these foods are widespread among children, and some studies indicate that eating processed meat and using refrigeration to preserve foods play a role in the disease.

Obesity and overweight: 

The risk of stomach cancer increases when a person suffers from obesity, which is a high body mass index of 30 and above (body mass index indicates the product of dividing weight by the square of height and is symbolized by BMI), so care must be taken to exercise and eat healthily.

Stomach surgery and some diseases: 

It must be noted that undergoing stomach surgery in the past or having some diseases such as anemia and AIDS are all factors that may increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Diffuse gastric cancer syndrome: 

a rare syndrome that usually occurs at an early age and is often caused by a mutation in the CDH1 gene, an oncogene found on chromosome 16. Genetic analyzes to discover the defect in this oncogene.

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