Since Colombia is a country that consumes fatty, spicy, or pungent foods, people are prone to heartburn, or heartburn, which is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest or throat; therefore, to relieve their symptoms, they often seek relief by consuming herbal or natural remedies products as well as readily available antacids for self-treatment.
“While these drugs can relieve an upset stomach by neutralizing excess acid, their dependence may mask more serious health problems, such as gastric cancer (GC), one of the major complications of chronic gastritis due to different Factors, including Helicobacter (H) infection, a bacterium Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) medical director for Colombia and Peru Dr. Shandher Tovar commented: “This virus can be transmitted through contaminated food or water. ”
In view of this situation, in the framework of World Gastritis Day (October 2) and Gastric Cancer Awareness Month (November), BMS Colombia launches the campaign “Seriously, it’s Gastritis”, through the website www.enserioesgastritis.co, The aim is to spread awareness about the disease and to call on Colombians not to take it lightly, characterized by inflammation of the stomach wall, and to see a gastroenterologist, a specialist in diseases of the digestive system.
More than half of the world’s population is infected with Helicobacter pylori 1, suggesting that hundreds of millions of people may have chronic gastritis; that is, lasting for months or years. “Despite its proven relationship with gastric cancer, it remains an underestimated disease in health counseling,” he revealed.
And, although there are other risk factors for the development of the disease, such as being male over 55, having a genetic or family history of the disease, smoking, drinking a lot of alcohol or eating a high-salt diet, grilling or roasting red meat, 90 percent of cases Secondary to Helicobacter pylori.
Experts explain that gastric cancer causes more than 1 million deaths worldwide every year1, of which more than 6,000 are in my country, ranking first in mortality, third in incidence, and third in incidence. 8,000 new cases4. “We know the natural history of this condition; however, the lack of specific symptoms, early detection programs and non-invasive diagnostic tools has led to late detection.”
In its early stages, this tumor causes no symptoms or is confused with other stomach conditions, which is why by the time it is diagnosed, it is often already advanced. “Many patients experience a burning sensation in their stomach and think it’s gastritis. It’s not until they start experiencing pain, difficulty swallowing, vomiting and weight loss for no apparent reason that they suspect something serious is wrong,” he explains.
Therefore, he stressed the importance of not self-treating and seeing a specialist, who can order studies such as upper endoscopy and biopsies to confirm the diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment. Depending on the type, stage of cancer and the patient’s overall health, this may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. The latter uses the body’s immune system to identify and fight tumor cells without damaging healthy tissue.
In general, advanced or metastatic gastric cancer, gastroesophageal junction cancer, and esophageal adenocarcinoma have poor survival rates, he explained. However, recent research suggests that some patients diagnosed with advanced gastric cancer live longer if they receive initial treatment that combines immunotherapy and chemotherapy. “This immuno-oncology therapy represents a major advance in gastric cancer treatment and provides an alternative for Colombians with unmet health needs.”
He added that while stomach cancer cannot be prevented, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and being physically active.
Dr. Shandher Tovar recalls the importance of Colombians visiting the http://www.enserioesgastritis.co page to learn how to protect their digestive health and not to take gastritis symptoms lightly. “In addition to finding information resources, you can also find the dates of ‘live’ events that medical experts will conduct on social networks to clear up any doubts,” he concludes.