How is stomach cancer treated?
Every patient at Miami Cancer Institute receives a personalized treatment plan put together by our team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists, interventional oncologists, and interventional gastroenterologists. With this system in place, your care team is able to tackle the most advanced and complex cancer cases.
Our philosophy is to find the plan that not only treats the cancer, but also fits you as a patient. Your care team will consider your specific diagnosis and type of tumor, the stage of disease, size and location of tumor and whether it has spread to other parts of your body. We also work closely with physical therapists, nurses, nutritionists and psychosocial experts to ensure we address any potential side effects of treatment.
Gastrointestinal oncologists at Miami Cancer Institute participate in multidisciplinary tumor boards, which allow them to collaborate with other specialists to determine the best treatment option for your cancer. With these expert opinions weighing in on your treatment, it is similar to having second and third opinions on your diagnosis – all under one roof.
Surgery is a common treatment for stomach cancer, especially early stage cancers. Our surgical oncologists are skilled in a number of different innovative surgical treatments, including minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery.
Surgical options may include:
- Partial gastrectomy. This procedure involves removing part of the stomach and nearby lymph nodes. Your surgeon may remove other nearby tissues and organs depending on how much your cancer has spread.
- Total gastrectomy. During this procedure, surgeons will remove your entire stomach. Depending on the stage of your cancer, they may also remove nearby lymph nodes, tissues and organs. Surgeons will connect your esophagus to your intestine to allow you to continue to swallow and eat.
If you undergo surgery to treat your stomach cancer, our specialists will work with you to provide a faster, less painful recovery process that involves fewer tubes and drains. Miami Cancer Institute is well-known for this enhanced recovery program, which aims to improve the patient experience before and after surgery.
If your stomach cancer is more advanced, your care team may decide to use other treatment options in addition to – or instead of – surgery. These treatments may include:
- Chemotherapy. This treatment uses medicine, or several medicines, to kill cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy. This treatment uses image-guided radiation to kill cancer cells. At Miami Cancer Institute, our advanced radiation oncology department gives patients access to every form of radiation treatment, all available under one roof.
- Targeted therapy. This treatment uses medicines targeted specifically for the type of tumor you have.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.