Gastric Cancer Specialist

Avo Artinyan, MD, MS

Surgical Oncologist & Colorectal Surgeon located in Glendale, CA

Although rates of gastric adenocarcinoma (the most common gastric cancer) are on the decline in the United States, more than 26,000 people receive a diagnosis of this type of cancer every year. Surgical oncologist Avo Artinyan, MD, MS, of Academic Surgical Associates, specializes in surgery for gastric cancer. Dr. Artinyan takes a multi-disciplinary approach to care and works closely with your oncologist and other health providers to ensure you get the best outcomes. To schedule a consultation, call the office in Glendale, California, or book an appointment online today.

Gastric Cancer Q & A

What is gastric cancer?

Gastric cancer, also known as adenocarcinoma, develops in the lining of your stomach. Your stomach is part of your digestive system. It stores and digests food before releasing it to your small intestine. 

There are two general types of gastric cancer: intestinal type (well-differentiated) and diffuse type (poorly differentiated). Though treatment is similar for both types, intestinal type gastric cancer has better treatment outcomes than the more aggressive diffuse type. 

Am I at risk of developing gastric cancer?

Rates of gastric cancer are on the decline in the United States. Researchers theorize the decline in this type of cancer may be due to dietary changes and a decrease in Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infections. 

H pylori is a bacterial infection that usually occurs during childhood and develops without causing symptoms. It’s the most significant risk factor for developing gastric cancer. 

Other factors that may place you at risk of developing gastric cancer include:

  • Diet high in salty, pickled, smoked, or preserved food
  • Family history of gastric cancer
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Industrial chemical exposure

Rates of gastric cancer are greater in first generation immigrants from and people living in East Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. Though rates of this type of cancer are lower in the United States, Americans diagnosed with gastric cancer are more likely to have the more aggressive subtype and a tumor location higher in the stomach, both of which make treatment more difficult.

What are the symptoms of gastric cancer?

During the early stages of gastric cancer, you may not have any symptoms. However, as the tumor grows, you may experience abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or difficulty swallowing.

Unexplained weight loss, dark stools, and fluid build-up in the abdomen may also occur. 

What treatments does the gastric cancer program include?

Treatment for gastric cancer includes a combination of chemotherapy and surgery. Dr. Artinyan specializes in gastric cancer surgery and uses advanced techniques to ensure you get the best outcomes from your gastric cancer program. 

He takes a multi-disciplinary approach to care, working with your oncologist and the other surgeons at Academic Surgical Associates to create your personalized gastric cancer program plan. 

During gastric cancer surgery, Dr. Artinyan removes the affected portion of the stomach and the surrounding lymph nodes and is among the very few surgeons in Southern California who perform both the stomach removal and the extended lymph node removal completely minimally invasively. 

In most cases, the multi-disciplinary team will recommend chemotherapy before and after surgery. You may also need radiation therapy if you have a large tumor or your tumor is close to other critical structures, though with extended and meticulous surgery this is less likely. 

Call the office of Avo Artinyan, MD, MS, or schedule your gastric cancer surgical consultation online today.