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Ask the Expert: the Unique Challenges Facing Stomach Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers

 

An Estimated 26,560 New Cases of Stomach Cancer Will Be Diagnosed in the US in 2021, but the Disease Burden and Mortality Rates Remain High.

 

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is one of the deadliest cancers – only 32% of patients survive longer than five years following diagnosis, regardless of stage. Once diagnosed, the disease is often advanced, aggressive and difficult-to-treat, but the treatment landscape is evolving with the identification of biomarkers.

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These can have the potential to help determine the likelihood of the cancer responding to a given treatment and allow researchers to better understand the characteristics of the tumor (e.g., severity and grade).

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It is important for those at-risk of or facing the disease to understand how to recognize signs and support family members once diagnosed – and to understand what the future holds in terms of  treatment of this devastating disease.

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According to the American Cancer Society:

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·   Because early-stage stomach cancer rarely causes symptoms or the symptoms overlap with other stomach-related conditions, the disease is often diagnosed in the advanced or metastatic stage.

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·   Stomach cancer is difficult to treat, particularly for patients with advanced disease.

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·   Stomach cancer, as well as the current treatment options, can have debilitating effects on day-to-day life, impacting the way patients eat and absorb nutrition.

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Gastrointestinal medical oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Samuel Klempner, shares key insights on what individuals can do to educate themselves and their loved ones about stomach cancer symptoms, the current treatment landscape and how biomarkers can help guide a diagnosis and, potentially, an appropriate treatment plan.

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Joining him is Christy Leonard, a caregiver and advocate who will speak to her experience helping her husband, Tony, during his battle with stomach cancer and share her advice on how to support patients and caregivers through this grueling journey.

 

 

 

Makeba Giles is a Digital Content Producer and Founder of Faith Health and Home, a digital space with information and resources for physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being to help families live an inspired lifestyle.

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