A variety of stomach cancer treatment options are available to patients today. In Moffitt Cancer Center’s Gastrointestinal Oncology Program, a multispecialty stomach cancer team creates a highly individualized treatment plan for every patient. This team may include gastroenterologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other professionals. Together, the team will evaluate a number of different factors that can affect a patient’s outcome and discuss the best possible treatment plan at a weekly tumor board.
In most cases, stomach cancer treatment includes one or more of the following options:
- Surgery – A surgical oncologist may be able to remove the tumor, depending on the stage of the stomach cancer. This may be done through a partial gastrectomy, during which part of the stomach is removed, or a total gastrectomy, during which the entire stomach is removed and the esophagus is then connected directly to the small intestine.
- Radiation therapy – Using external radiation beams, a radiation therapist will administer high-energy X-rays or other particles to help fight cancerous cells. This form of stomach cancer treatment usually involves a prescribed number of sessions over a given span of time. Other types of radiation treatment include brachytherapy, neoadjuvant and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy cancer by stopping their ability to grow and divide. These drugs are prescribed by a medical oncologist and are typically administered through the bloodstream using either an IV or pills.
- Molecularly targeted therapy – This form of therapy targets the cancer’s specific genes, proteins or tissues to fight the spread and growth of the stomach cancer.
Oftentimes, these different forms of stomach cancer treatment will be paired with one another to create the most effective treatment plan. For example, Moffitt’s stomach cancer team may suggest radiation therapy before surgery to help shrink the size of the tumor, or radiation therapy might be needed after surgery to prevent recurrence and eliminate any cells that could have been left behind. Moffitt’s stomach cancer program also offers clinical trials that allow patients to try some of the most promising breakthrough treatments that are not yet widely available.
We do not require referrals to meet with our multispecialty team of oncologists specializing in stomach cancer. Contact Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-MOFFITT, or schedule an appointment using our online form to learn more about our stomach cancer treatment options.