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Stomach Cancer in New Jersey

The Digestive Health & Nutrition Center has two convenient locations in Lawrenceville and Princeton, New Jersey where you can receive the exceptional care you deserve. Angela Merlo, MD is an experienced Gastroenterologist specializing the diagnosis and care of patients with stomach cancer. 

What is Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer is also called gastric cancer. These cancers originate in the stomach and have the potential to spread to other vital organs. Affected individuals have no noticeable symptoms or signs in the early stages.  But, as the cancers grow, they affect the functioning of the stomach and can jeopardize your entire health. Stomach cancer is a serious medical condition and early detection is necessary for the best outcome.

What Causes Stomach Cancer?

Experts do not know the exact cause but certain conditions increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Specifically, your risk increases with:

  • Chronic Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Diet rich in salt, nitrates, fried foods, processed meats, or alcohol
  • Ebstein Barr Virus infection
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • History of stomach ulcers
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

What are Symptoms of Stomach Cancer?

Most people with stomach cancer have no symptoms until the disease becomes advanced. Symptoms are vague and not specific to stomach cancer. Common symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or indigestion
  • Weight loss

These symptoms can be produced by many other digestive disorders which is why the right diagnosis is crucial.  Alarm symptoms suggesting a serious underlying problem include the following:

  • Anemia
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Yellow color to the eyes and skin (jaundice)

How is Stomach Cancer Diagnosed?

Dr. Merlo will listen to all of your symptoms and your medical history so she will know your risk and will then perform a comprehensive physical examination. Dr. Merlo may recommend specific blood tests for possible iron or vitamin deficiencies to assess your nutritional status. An upper endoscopy is the most commonly recommended procedure because biopsies can be obtained for precise diagnosis. Dr. Merlo has particular expertise in performing upper endoscopy as well as interpreting the results.  CT scans or MR scans may be necessary to determine the presence of disease outside the digestive tract. Dr. Merlo can then formulate a comprehensive treatment plan that is right for your particular situation.

If you have symptoms suggesting stomach cancer or want to confirm the diagnosis, contact the Digestive Health & Nutrition Center in Lawrenceville or Princeton, New Jersey for an appointment with Dr. Merlo.