Stomach Cancer In Singapore – An Overview

Stomach Cancer In Singapore – An Overview

Stomach cancer in Singapore

Stomach cancer in Singapore has a relatively high incident rate. Based on Singapore Cancer Registry data, it is the 7th and 9th most common cancer in men and women respectively. Stomach cancer affects men more than women, but is more uncommon in people under 50 years of age.

What Is Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer is an adenocarcinoma of the stomach (gastric cancer). Stomach or gastric cancer begins when cells in any part of the stomach grow and divide abnormally. These cells can grow into a tumour. Tumours can develop anywhere in the stomach, but most begin in the glandular tissue on the stomach’s inner surface. The cancer may spread along the stomach wall or may develop directly through the wall and spread into the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Once beyond the stomach, cancer can spread to other organs.

Mortality Rate For Stomach Cancer In Singapore

Stomach cancer in Singapore has the sixth highest mortality rate among cancers for males. According to the Singapore Cancer Registry’s 2019 report, stomach cancer accounted for 5.6% (869 deaths) of cancer deaths in males between 2015-2019. In women, stomach cancer accounted for 5.1% (658 deaths) of cancer deaths, making it the seventh highest mortality rate among cancers. On average, it is responsible for 300 deaths every year.

If stomach cancer is detected early, it is treatable. However, more than two-thirds of stomach cancer patients are diagnosed only at Stage III or IV. In many cases, stomach cancer is asymptomatic in its initial stages, causing many patients to be diagnosed at a late or advanced stage.

What Are The Different Types Of Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancers are classified according to the type of tissue they start in.

  • Adenocarcinoma – Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of gastric cancer, comprising more than 90% of all stomach cancers. Carcinoma occurs in the glandular tissue on the innermost lining of the stomach. 
  • Lymphoma – develops in the immune system tissues located in the wall of the stomach.
  • Carcinoid Tumour – originates in the hormone-creating cells of the stomach and normally do not spread.
  • Small Cell Carcinoma – an extremely rare type of neuroendocrine tumour that often develops in conjunction with other tumour types.
  • Leiomyosarcoma – begins in the smooth muscle cells of the stomach.
  • Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST) – begin in interstitial cells of Cajal, which are cells in the wall of the stomach.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma – occurs in the skin-like cells that make up the stomach lining

Grades Of Stomach Cancer

The grade of cancer means how abnormal the cells look under a microscope. Knowing the grade gives the oncologist an idea of how the cancer might behave, hoe quickly they may develop, and what treatment options are more appropriate.

The grades of cancer cells are from 1 to 3:

Grade 1 (low grade) – the cancer cells look like normal stomach cells. Usually, their growth will be slow, and they are less likely to spread.

Grade 2 – the cancer cells look less like normal cells, and may spread more quickly.

Grade 3 (high grade) – the cancer cells look very abnormal and are unlike normal cells. They may develop quickly and are more likely to spread.

[Updated 5 Dec 22]

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This article is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.

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