Every year hundreds of thousands of people will be diagnosed as suffering from stomach cancer which can be difficult to detect. Often there are no symptoms in the early stages or when symptoms do occur, they are often so vague that the person ignores them.
Symptoms may include:
Discomfort or pain in the abdomen;
Indigestion or heartburn;
Nausea and vomiting;
Bloating of the stomach after meals;
Diarrhea or constipation;
Weakness and fatigue;
Loss of appetite;
Bleeding (vomiting blood or having blood in the stool).
Diagnosis takes place following consideration of the patient’s history, medical records and following physical and laboratory tests which may include:
Fecal occult blood test which checks for the presence of hidden blood in the stool.
X-rays of the esophagus and stomach following consumption of a barium solution which is radio opaque and outlines the stomach on x-rays.
Endoscopy which is examination using a thin, lighted tube called a gastroscope, which is passed through the mouth. If abnormal tissue is found, a sample can be removed for microscopic examination using the gastroscope.
This illness is difficult to treat and cure unless it is found in an early stage before it has begun to spread.
Treatment may include;
Surgery which is the most common treatment for stomach cancer and is called gastrectomy.
Chemotherapy which is the use of drugs to kill malignant cells and is called systemic therapy because the drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body.
Radiation therapy which is the use of high-energy rays to damage malignant cells and stop them from growing.
Biological therapy which is also called immunotherapy and is a form of treatment that helps the body’s immune system attack and destroy malignant cells.
It is now effectively possible to treat or cure many types of cancer and even if a cure is not possible then the quality of remaining life can be improved. The most common claims dealt with by medical negligence lawyers are those associated with failure to diagnose stomach cancer in a timely manner which allows adequate treatment to take place, or after diagnosis failing to arrange an appropriate treatment. The key to successful treatment is early diagnosis which may improve quality of life, survival chances and life expectancy. If a doctor has failed to diagnose the illness in a timely manner, then medical negligence compensation may be payable for the worsening of the illness. Early diagnosis usually means less pain, less financial hardship and a greater chance of survival.
Most specialist medical negligence lawyers use the no win no fee scheme (contingency fee arrangements) to represent their clients in a personal injury compensation claim, which means that if you don’t receive a settlement then they won’t get paid. You will be advised by a medical negligence lawyer whether you have a claim, the anticipated value of that claim and what steps you should take to protect your legal rights. If you believe that you have been the victim of a medical error then contact a lawyer as soon as possible.