Detect cancer from faint signs

Two weeks ago, Mr. Nam 55 years old in Vinh Phuc, had epigastric pain, pain increased after eating, abdominal bloating, indigestion, poor appetite, lost 5 kg in three weeks. He had a history of gastritis, went to Medlatec Hospital for blood tests, abdominal ultrasound, chest X-ray and gastroscopy.

Doctor Le Van Khoa, Gastroenterology Specialist, said that in the body of the patient’s stomach there was a large ulcerative lesion, easy to bleed, edematous and congested antrum mucosa. Therefore, during the endoscopy, the doctor performed a 5-piece biopsy at the edge of the lesion to make histopathology, suspecting malignant lymphoma. Immunohistochemistry was then confirmed to be diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Finding out the exact cause of the disease, Mr. Nam moved to K Hospital for surgery and treatment.

In another case, a 44-year-old man about 4 months old had abdominal pain in the epigastrium accompanied by pain behind the sternum, choking, difficulty swallowing, sour belching, 4 kg weight loss. He smoked cigarettes, pipe tobacco for 25 years, occasionally drank a little alcohol, no one in his family had gastrointestinal cancers.

The patient’s esophagoscope – stomach – duodenum, noted at the oesophagus, the surface of the esophagus is rough and rough, with ulcers that bleed easily when touching the lamp. The pathological results were squamous squamous cell carcinoma, the patient was identified with esophageal K.

These are two of many cases where gastrointestinal cancer is detected with only faint signs such as pain, poor appetite, weight loss… This disease is easily confused with common digestive diseases, so people The disease is often subjective, when detected at a late stage.

A patient endoscopically screened for gastrointestinal cancer. Image: Thu Ngo

Gastrointestinal cancers include cancers of the mouth, nasopharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colorectal, and anus. This group of cancers accounts for 30% of all cancers, common in Asians, and both men and women are at equal risk. The most common gastrointestinal cancers are the esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, and anus.

According to Globocan’s statistics in 2020, the rate of stomach cancer is nearly 10% and colorectal cancer is 9% out of a total of 182,563 cancer cases in Vietnam. Gastrointestinal cancer has the highest incidence after liver and lung cancer in men and breast and lung cancer in women.

“Environmental pollution, food with chemical/preservative residues, unhealthy lifestyle (smoking, drinking alcohol, foods with too much salt…) are the main causes of gastrointestinal diseases. in our country is increasing day by day and tends to be rejuvenated,” said Doctor Khoa.

From the actual examination, Doctor Khoa said that the disease progressed insidious and silent, so most of the patients who went to the doctor found that the cancer was at an advanced stage, invading organs, metastasizing lymph nodes. The treatment becomes difficult, expensive, increasing the risk of facing death. However, the disease is completely curable if detected early or the lesions are in the precancerous stage.

Therefore, doctors recommend quitting bad habits such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol. Follow a scientific diet such as eating lots of vegetables and fruits. Avoid processed, greasy, and fried foods. Maintain a reasonable body weight and rest, do scientific activities, work and rest properly, avoid stress, prolonged stress.

Annual health check-up in people with risk factors such as smoking habits, heavy drinking, family or personal history of cancer, overweight/obesity or people in need health check. In particular, if swallowing is choking, weight loss, long-term change in stool properties… need to see a doctor immediately.


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