An overview of gastric cancer and its management
Karen Bailey Cancer genetics counsellor, Cancer Genetic Service for Wales, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff
Gastric (stomach) cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, despite decreasing incidence. Prognosis is poor, because patients often present with advanced disease as a result of non-specific symptoms in the early stages. Management depends on the stage of disease, th patient’s general health and performance status. Treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and newer targeted agents for those with resectable disease. These treatments may also beused in patients with advanced unresectable disease together with best supportive care. A multidisciplinary approach is essential, and nurses have a pivotal role to ensure co-ordination and continuity ofcare for patients throughout the course of their disease, as well as providing information, emotionaland psychosocial support to patients and their families.
Cancer Nursing Practice. 10, 6, 31-38. doi: 10.7748/cnp2011.07.10.6.31.c8624