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Tumours

Benign tumors
A benign tumor is a swelling of tumorcells that grows slowly and stays in one location. The cells will not spread to distant organs. In total, only 3% of all gastric tumors is classified as benign. The two main benign gastric tumors are the gastric polyp and leiomyoma. By clicking on the links below you can find out more about these tumors.

Gastric polyp

Gastric polyp

Gastric polyp

A gastric polyp is a stem-shaped growth originating from the stomach wall at the side of the stomach cavity. Stomach polyps are rare. Usually, patients with gastric polyps suffered from stomach inflammation (gastritis) for years before the polyp is diagnosed. Due to the prolonged irritation of the gastric mucosa excessive growth occurs and a polyp is formed. Stomach polyps occur mainly in elderly people (age 70 +) and are twice as commonly found in men than women. It is important to know that a gastric popyp cannot become malignant, but may be seen in patients who have a malignant tumor of the stomach as well.

Leiomyomas

Leiomyomas

Leiomyomas

Leiomyomas are rare benign tumors originating from the muscle tissue of the stomach wall. They only cause problems when they have grown very large and obstruct part of the stomach or cause stomach ulcers. These tumors are often found by chance before they cause symptoms. A biopsy often provides insufficient information about the nature of the tumor, because a leiomyoma is located relatively deep in the gastric wall. The treatment consists of the removal of the tumor by means of a long look investigation or an exploratory operation.


Malignant tumors
Characteristics of malignant tumors are the rapid growth, ingrowth of tumor cells in the surrounding structures, and the spread of tumor cells to other organs and tissues. 97% of all tumors of the stomach is malignant. The different types of malignant tumors of the stomach are mentioned below. If you want to learn more about them, you can click on the topics below.

Gastric cancer

Gastric cancer

Gastric cancer

The most common malignant tumor of the stomach is the adenocarcinoma. This type of cancer grows from adenoid cells of the stomach. In the Netherlands, gastric cancer is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 patients per year. Gastric cancer is very aggressive and ranks second in mortality from cancer worldwide.

Risk factors for the development of gastric cancer are smoking, alcohol consumption and a diet with a lack of vitamins and fruit. In addition, infection with the bacterium H. pylori increases the risk of developing gastric cancer.

MALT Lymphoma

MALT Lymphoma

MALT Lymphoma

The “mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue” lymphoma (MALT lymphoma) is a malignant tumor that originates from the immune cells of the stomach (usually B cells). People with bacterial H. pylori infection, or an immune disorder are at an increased risk for the development of the tumor.

This tumor causes nonspecific symptoms, such as nausea, pain in the upper abdomen and decreased appetite. As the tumor grows, symptoms of weight loss and (blood) vomiting may occur. The treatment of a MALT-lymphoma consists of eradicating the bacteria (H. pylori), which causes the infection. In addition, generally an operation is performed to remove the tumor. If the tumor has spread, chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be given.

Carcinoid

The carcinoid of the stomach is a rare tumor that originates from hormone-producing cells. It is a slowly growing tumor which often causes symptoms. Pain in the upper abdomen and anemia are commonly heard complaints. In addition, about one in ten people with carcinoid demonstrates the so-called “carcinoid syndrome”. This is a term for the combination of diarrhea, flushing of the face and difficulty breathing due to squeezing of the airways. This syndrome is caused by the substances produced by the carcinoid. The carcinoid can be removed by means of a gastroscopy or surgery, depending on the size. In some cases, the tumor has grown so large that part of the stomach also has to be removed.

Gastro-intestinal stromatumor (GIST)

GIST

GIST

Another rare type of gastric cancer is GIST. This is a tumor formed by cells from the connective tissue of the stomach. These tumors are often discovered at a late stage. In some cases, it is an incidental finding during a gastroscopy or CT_scan performed for another purpose. Characteristic of GIST is its aggressive growth. A patient often has multiple tumors, as well as a relatively high risk of distant metastases. The GIST has to be removed surgically.

Leiomyosarcoma

The leiomyosacoma of the stomach is very rare. It originates from the smooth muscle tissue of the wall of the stomach. This tumor has to be removed surgically. In case surgery is not possible, due to aggressive tumor growth, chemotherapy can be given instead.

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