Early detection helps cure stomach cancer with near 100% successful rate: expert

Wednesday, 2017-07-05 10:21:17
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Doctors carry out endoscopic surgery for a gastric cancer patient undergoing treatment at K Hospital.
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NDO – The success rate for the curing of stomach cancer could reach nearly 100% with an early detection of the disease, said Associate Professor, Dr Tran Van Thuan, Director of Hanoi-based K Hospital.

On July 4, Vietnam’s largest cancer hospital held an international seminar to share experiences and advances in laparoscopic gastrectomy in gastric cancer treatment.

Stomach cancer is one of the most commonly found cancers. According to GLOBOCAN, in 2012 there were about 952,000 newly-detected cases of stomach cancer, the fifth most common cancer (after lung, breast, colon and prostate cancer).

Data from the US indicates that in 2017 there are approximately 28,000 new cases of stomach cancer in the US with around 10,960 deaths occurring because of the disease. Gastric cancer treatment is a multi-paradigm treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and target treatment, in which surgery has been playing the most important role in the treatment of stomach cancer.

At the seminar, the world’s leading experts on gastric cancer, such as doctor Takahiro Kinoshita from Gastric Surgery Division, Japan’s National Cancer Centre Hospital East, Kashiwa-Chiba, and doctor Jaideepraj Rao from Singapore’s Tan Tock Seng Hospital, along with Vietnamese experts, carried out an operation for laparoscopic gastrectomy on a gastric cancer patient undergoing treatment at K Hospital. The operation was broadcast live from the operating room to the conference hall for the gathered experts to discuss.

They also exchanged ideas on the themes of gastric cancer laparoscopic surgery in Japan; dealing with complex situations in gastric cancer endoscopic surgery; and the access to supportive treatment before surgery for stomach cancer.

Gastric cancer surgery also has two main methods: traditional open surgery and endoscopic surgery. Open surgery has a 100 year history, however, gastric cancer endoscopic surgery has many advantages, such as minimising shock and pain during surgery and a faster recovery period for patients, whilst still ensuring cancer treatment results.

In Vietnam, gastric cancer endoscopic surgery has been developed since 2010 at several major hospitals. K Hospital has routinely developed gastric cancer endoscopic surgery in combination with complete multimodal treatments. This method is used for patients who are diagnosed with stomach cancer from Stage 1 to Stage 3.

According to Assoc. Prof. Thuan, if the gastric cancer is detected early and the patient undergoes endoscopic surgery, the cure rate could reach100%. However, early detection of cancer is not easy because of the lack of periodic examination to ensure the early screening of cancer in the majority of people.

At K Hospital, about 30 cases of stomach cancer are detected early, among thousands of cases, said Dr. Thuan. Therefore, he recommended that people over 40 years old, or those whose family’s members have a history of cancer, should have regular medical examinations and early screening for cancer.

Currently, health insurance does not cover early screening for cancer. Therefore, the director of K Hospital expressed his hope that in the near future health insurance will cover the screening for early detection of cancer for all cancers of the stomach, breast, and cervix, prostate or thyroid.

Thuan said that the hospital will transfer its technology to other satellite hospitals. In particular, some good news for people with gastric cancer was shared by Thuan as the costs, as well as a digestive cutter for gastric cancer endoscopic surgery, is insured 100% by health insurance.