GASTRIC (Stomach) Cancer

Gastric cancer is a rare cancer.  Before surgery is recommended many factors must be considered for its proper treatment.  Imaging to evaluate the lung and liver to make sure the cancer hasn’t spread is essential prior to any surgical treatment.  Then the stomach cancer itself is evaluated to make sure it is safe to surgically remove it.  Often a combined approach involving chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy is necessary in combination with surgery for optimal treatment.

Not all gastric cancers are the same and therefore a detailed consultation with your physician/surgeon is very important once the diagnosis has been made.

Dr. Carolyn Nessim actively treats Gastric Cancer patients through the Ottawa Hospital Regional Cancer Center.

Frequently asked questions

What tests do I need once I am diagnosed with a Gastric Cancer?

You will need a CT Scan of your Chest/Abdomen and Pelvis.  You may require other tests, such as a Gastroscopy (camera into your stomach through your mouth) and/or Biopsy of the tumour.  This will be decided by your doctor at your initial consultation.

Will I need Chemotherapy?

Depending on the Stage of your Gastric Cancer you may require chemotherapy before or after surgery.

Will I need Radiation Therapy?

Depending on the Stage of your Gastric Cancer you may require Radiation either before or after surgery.

Can all Gastric cancers be removed?

Unfortunately, not all gastric cancers can be surgically removed. If they have spread to other organs or are too large for a safe removal, chemotherapy alone or in combination with radiation therapy are the mainstay of treatment.

Can I live without a stomach?

Yes you can live without a stomach.  The surgery often involves removal of almost all or all of the stomach and then the esophagus is reconnected to your small bowel to allow you to continue eating.  You will, however have to alter your diet and how you eat.  You will be seen by a nutritionist who will help you in this transition.