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Preventing Stomach Cancer: Measures to Protect ISRO Chief S. Somanath

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Know how to prevent stomach cancer that hit ISRO chief S. Somanath

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) Stomach cancer, the fifth-most common cancer among males, affected Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief, S. Somanath last year. Doctors shared that stomach cancer presents vague and misleading symptoms, making early detection crucial.

In a recent interview with Tarmak Media House, Somanath revealed he faced health issues during the Chandrayaan-3 mission launch in August. It was later confirmed as stomach cancer in September before the launch of the Aditya-L1 mission.

“I underwent surgery, followed by chemotherapy, and now, I am completely cured and have resumed duties,” Somanath shared about his treatment journey.

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Common symptoms of stomach cancer include abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, loss of appetite, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, and blood in the stool. These symptoms may be overlooked until the disease progresses substantially.

Dr. Vinay Samuel Gaikwad, Director of Surgical Oncology at CK Birla Hospital in Gurugram, highlighted that stomach cancer prognosis varies depending on the stage at diagnosis, with adenocarcinoma, lymphoma, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors being common types.

Due to often being diagnosed in later stages, stomach cancer has higher mortality rates. Regular screenings for high-risk individuals are crucial for early detection and treatment.

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Risk factors for stomach cancer include family history, Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking history, dietary habits, and alcohol intake. Individuals over the age of 50, particularly men, are at higher risk due to lifestyle factors.

Dr. Puneet Dhar, Head of Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery at Amrita Hospital in Faridabad, emphasized the aggressive nature of stomach cancers, which spread quickly to other parts of the body and have a higher chance of recurrence after treatment.

Maintaining a balanced diet, avoiding processed foods, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and regular medical check-ups are essential preventive measures against stomach cancer, especially for those with a family history or concerning symptoms.

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