All over the world, stomach cancer is one of the five most common cancers, with up to a million new cases reported annually. Russia is among the leading countries where stomach cancer occurs especially often. According to statistics, stomach cancer occurs more often in men. Most often, stomach cancer is diagnosed in Japan (their rates are twice as high as in Russia). But it is in Japan, thanks to the national program and mass screening of the population, that the highest detection rate of this disease in the early stages and the highest survival rate in the world – more than 53 percent. Nearly 100 percent of early stomach cancer patients in Japan live at least five years after treatment. There is no such statistics in our country yet.
And yet, in recent years, the number of patients with this form of cancer has been gradually decreasing. One of the possible reasons, according to doctors, is the widespread dissemination of available information about Helicobacter pylori infection. It is considered proven that people infected with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori have a significantly higher risk of developing stomach cancer. At the same time, Helicobacter is being successfully treated today, which prevents the development of the oncological process. Well, the bad news is that in parallel with the obvious successes, the detection of stomach cancer is growing already at stage 4, when it becomes much more difficult to cure the patient.
In Russia, “the experience of early screening, or clinical examination, is almost completely lost, which makes responsibility for one’s own health the sole business of the patient” – says candidate of medical sciences, physician of the highest category Alexey Egorov…
The insidiousness of oncology is that it develops for a long time without any symptoms. Any abdominal pain, feeling of bloating after eating, severe and frequent heartburn, regular stomach upset, unexplained nausea, vomiting, usually associated with food intake, sudden weight loss, chronic fatigue should definitely alert. All this may indirectly indicate that the disease already exists and postponing the visit to the doctor is the worst thing that you can do for yourself. Self-medication, especially any abdominal pain, is also prohibited. The problem will not go away, but the most precious factor may be missed – time.
On the other hand, as doctors themselves admit, even with the availability of such a diagnostic method as gastroscopy, there are still many questions about the quality of diagnostics. Taking 30-40 people a day, gastroenterologists in most clinics barely have time to track only a gross pathology – a large ulcer or tumor. And although the capabilities of the diagnostic equipment make it possible to closely examine each fold of the gastric mucosa in order to detect a neoplasm at the earliest stage, gastroenterologists have practically no time for this.
An important factor is the attitude of the patients themselves to gastroscopy. The very process of “swallowing” a long rubber hose with a light bulb is not a pleasant experience. Therefore, it is hardly worth waiting for a person who is clearly not worried about anything to do a gastroscopic examination for preventive purposes. What is the way out? “Of course, in such a situation it is necessary to take the patient’s side, – I am sure endoscopist, MD, head of the endosurgery center of the European clinic of expert oncology Mikhail Burdyukov… – To admit that endoscopic examination of the stomach is a really unpleasant thing, but necessary. And, for example, offer to pass it under intravenous sedation. In which the patient is completely excluded from the process, since he is sleeping, does not put pressure on the doctor emotionally, and the doctor has as much time as he needs to prepare the mucous membrane for examination, examine all suspicious foci and not miss those changes that may lead in the future to the development of cancer “.
A serious advantage of gastroscopy is that it allows not only to establish a diagnosis, but also, unlike other methods for examining the gastrointestinal tract, to take a pathological area of tissue for examination under a microscope using special instruments (biopsy for cytological and histological studies). Or resort to minimally invasive radical treatment. That is, without incisions and other traumatic manipulations, as it was before, an experienced endoscopist can, if necessary, immediately remove a suspicious tumor through an endoscope.
If, during gastroscopy, a precancerous pathology is revealed, when there is no cancer yet, but according to all medical data, it is this condition that must be closely monitored – the patient is prescribed a time interval after which it is necessary to come for a second examination.
“Modern endoscopic examination implies the use of the most modern technologies. – says Mikhail Burdyukov. – For example, chromoendoscopy is a technique that uses mucosal staining to reveal what is not visible on routine examination. Or research in a narrow spectrum, when a special program is switched on on the basis of the endoscope and the examination of the mucous membrane is carried out in a different color mode, which makes it possible to reveal what is not visible in ordinary white light. Magnifying endoscopy provides for a 100-fold increase and more, giving comprehensive information about the relief of the mucous membrane, the state of its vessels
Endoscopy is considered a relatively safe method, but it also has contraindications. For example, acute circulatory disorders in the brain are absolute contraindications; heart and pulmonary insufficiency, which has developed to grade III; such pathologies of the esophagus as aortic aneurysm; metastases; Relative contraindications requiring increased supervision by the doctor: hypertension (stage III); mental illness; coronary insufficiency; hemophilia and other diseases in which blood clotting is impaired; acute diseases of the nasopharynx and respiratory tract of an inflammatory nature; general grave condition of the patient.
There are such types of endoscopy as: gastroscopy (the stomach is examined); colonoscopy (large intestine); intestinoscopy (small intestine); angioscopy (inner walls of blood vessels); cholangioscopy (condition of the bile ducts); laparoscopy (abdominal cavity); esophagoscopy (examination of the esophagus); tracheobronchoscopy (examination of the trachea and bronchi); cystoscopy (examination of the walls of the bladder); laryngoscopy (examination of the larynx); and some others.
IMPORTANT identifying the disease at an early stage is the only way to cure it completely. If the relatives did not have cancer, the first planned gastroscopy should be done at the age of 40-45. If heredity is burdened – as early as possible.