At Memorial Sloan Kettering, medical oncologists such as Yelena Janjigian take a team approach to shaping an individualized treatment plan for our patients with stomach cancer.
Stomach cancer continues to become more treatable thanks to improvements in staging the disease, along with advances in surgical technology and expanding recognition of the different types of gastric cancer. And as doctors evaluate and treat more people with early-stage tumors, increasing numbers of people are surviving stomach cancer.
Surgery (gastrectomy) is the most common treatment approach, especially when the illness is at an early stage. For many people with gastric cancer, minimally invasive surgical techniques provide the best option since they tend to lead to fewer complications, shorter recovery times, less need for pain relief, and reduced risk that the cancer will return compared with open surgeries. Our surgeons are global leaders in this area, having performed more laparoscopic stomach procedures than any other cancer center in the country.
For more advanced stomach cancer, your care team may recommend treatments in addition to surgery, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these approaches. These therapies may help you live longer and experience fewer symptoms.
At Memorial Sloan Kettering, you may also have access to clinical trials unavailable elsewhere.
Developing a Care Plan for You
In creating your care plan, we consider such factors as the location of the cancer, how deep it is in your stomach, whether it’s metastasized (spread) to other parts of the body, and previous treatments you may have received.
Our effectiveness in treating this cancer has also been enhanced by our improved ability to identify subtle but important differences among various types of stomach cancer and to pinpoint the stage of your condition.
Managing Symptoms and Side Effects
Our specially trained staff is available to help you manage side effects of stomach cancer treatment such as pain and nausea. For example, one way to avoid bothersome symptoms is to eat smaller, more frequent meals following surgery. Because the stomach plays an important role in vitamin absorption, we may also prescribe dietary vitamin supplements.
Our patients continue to see their doctor regularly for follow-up examinations and tests once treatment is over. People who experience any new symptoms should contact their doctor right away.