The main treatments for stomach (gastric) cancer are:
- Surgery - Surgery may be done to remove the cancer and part or all of the stomach and some nearby lymph nodes, depending on the type and stage of stomach cancer.
- Chemotherapy - Chemotherapy (chemo) may be given before surgery (neoadjuvant treatment) to shrink the tumor, after surgery (adjuvant treatment) to remove the cancer, or as the primary (main) treatment for stomach cancer that has metastasized (spread) to distant organs.
- Radiation Therapy - Radiation therapy may be used along with chemo before surgery to help shrink the tumor and/or after surgery to help kill any remaining cancer. It may also be used to slow the growth and ease the symptoms of advanced stomach cancer.
- Targeted Therapies - Targeted therapy drugs may work in some cases of stomach cancer when standard chemo drugs don’t.
- Immunotherapy - Immunotherapy medicines may be used to help the patient’s own immune system find and destroy stomach cancer cells.
Who Treats Stomach Cancer?
Before treatment begins, a team of doctors will create a plan specific to your needs. The team typically consists of a surgical oncologist, a medical oncologist, and a radiation oncologist. In cases of stomach cancer, a gastroenterologist may also be included as they specialize in diseases of the digestive system.
Nutritional Needs For Patients Undergoing Treatment for Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer may make it harder for patients to eat and digest food. However, proper nutrition is essential to treatment and recovery. At Compass Oncology, our registered dietitian and oncology nutritional services help our patients going through stomach cancer treatment understand how to maintain nutrition during treatments in order to stay strong.
Some patients may receive nutrition through an IV (intravenous) until they are able to eat on their own. This will be discussed with the oncologist and dietitian to determine if this is needed and for how long.