Gloria Vanderbilt, heiress and designer jeans queen, died Monday after a long battle with stomach cancer. She was 95.

Stomach cancer is one of the most painful forms of cancer. The debilitating pain is usually a late warning sign and it is the first symptom that leads to a stomach cancer diagnosis.

What Is Stomach Cancer?

Your stomach is part of your upper gastrointestinal tract (including small intestines). Your large intestines (ending at your rectum) make up the lower portion of your GI tract.

The digestion process begins in your mouth where powerful enzymes break down food before you swallow. The food then enters your esophagus - a long tube that carries food and fluid down to your stomach. Strong stomach acid and enzymes partially liquify stomach contents before it passes into the small intestines.

Stomach cancer occurs when healthy cells that line the stomach walls begin to grow and multiply over time, forming a tumor inside your stomach. The process is slow and the tumor can grow for years before it is discovered.

Stomach cancer is common among adults older than 50, people with a history of familial cancers, people who are of Asian (especially Korean or Japanese), South American, or Belarusian descent.
 

What Causes Stomach Cancer?

It isn't clear what causes stomach cells to grow out of control. A variety of risk factors can trigger cancer cells to grow. Risk factors include:

  • Lymphoma (blood cancers)
  • H. Pylori bacteria (common bacteria that can cause stomach ulcers)
  • Tumors in other parts of the digestive system
  • Stomach polyps (growths of tissue on the stomach lining)
  • Stomach ulcers
  •  

    What Can I Do to Prevent Stomach Cancer?

    Family history plays a role in stomach cancers. If you have a family history of cancer, you should be screened early for stomach cancer. One of the simplest tests is for the presence of Helicobacter pylori bacteria in your stomach. H. pylori can lead to stomach cancer. If you test positive for H. pylori, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics by mouth.

    You can lower your risk of stomach cancer by:

  • Eating a well-balanced, low fat, low salt diet
  • Quitting smoking and drinking
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • You are more likely to be diagnosed with stomach cancer if you:

  • Eat a lot of salty or processed food
  • Eat too much meat
  • Have a history of alcohol abuse
  • Don't exercise
  • Don't store or cook food properly
  •  

    How Common Is Stomach Cancer?

    Stomach cancer is an uncommon form of cancer. About 1 in 111 adults will be diagnosed with stomach cancer at some point in their lives, according to the American Cancer Society.

    The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates that stomach cancer is 1.7 percent of new cases diagnosed in the U.S.
     

    Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

    There are usually no early signs of stomach cancer. The cancer is usually diagnosed after it has advanced or metastasized to another part of the body.

    Signs and symptoms of late stage stomach cancer include:

  • Burning or sharp abdominal pain
  • Abdominal pain that is worse after eating
  • Heartburn and indigestion
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vomiting blood
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fullness after eating small amount
  • Bloody stools
  • Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
  • Excessive fatigue (feeling tired, weak)
  •  

    How is Stomach Cancer Treated?

    Like pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer is one of the deadliest and hardest forms of cancer to treat because there are usually no early warning signs. Stomach cancer treatment includes:

  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery to remove tumors or part of stomach
  • Immunotherapy (vaccines and medication)
  • The exact treatment depends on the stage, location, your age and overall health. Late stage stomach cancer is very difficult to treat. The goal of treatment is to prevent the cancer from spreading to the:

  • Lungs
  • Lymph nodes
  • Liver
  • Intestines
  •  

    This has been your Medical Minute.
     

    More Info On the Web

    Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer | Cancer.org

    Stomach Cancer | Healthline

    Stomach cancer, Signs and Symptoms | Mayo Clinic
     

    DISCLAIMER

    Any medical information published on this blog is for your general information only and is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice. You should not take any action before consulting with your personal physician or a health care provider. Sandrarose.com and its affiliates cannot be held liable for any damages incurred by following information found on this blog.

    Photo by Gianni Penati/Condé Nast via Getty Images

    • WhoKnew

      R.I.P. Ms. Gloria.

      I was going through a pile of old jeans over the weekend to donate to the thrift store and came across a pair of GV jeans. Shewd...I put those aside so that I could see if I could still wear them.

    • Skin Deep Beauty

      Gloria was also 95 yrs OLD... She had MONEY, LUXURY and LIVED! No tears from me. She lived a LONGER life better than the majority and the average. A life better that the average person who couldn't afford her lifestyle or medical care/comfort. Some who lived without her accomodations have lived just as long as she have and have suffered without her LUXURY! I have just as much if not more sympathy and empathy to them. Nothing ires me more than when more sympathy is poured on the rich/celebs and none on those who had less! JMO and not yours!

    • Jay

      Wow 95 she had a long life. RIP Gloria prayers to her family

    • Li-Wright

      I was reading that Tina Turner also had stomach cancer and had to have part of her colon removed....OUCH!

    • Love Luv

      Any age cancer is a horrific agony but especially with children and elderly. 95 is a horrible way to end her already traumatized life. You should read up on her. It isn’t so cut dry. Wealthy or not the only treatment to rid pain is opioids and nature. Both of which only takes the edge off. There is no such thing as being made comfortable at any age or any wealth with stomach cancer.

      I understand what you mean in general and respect your point of view. Certain cancers is the unfortunate exception. ?

    • leapyearpisces

      Those digestive cancers (stomach, pancreatic ) are no joke! I think I mentioned before how the twins aunt on their father's side (their dad sister) went in to have a hysterectomy in August of like 2013, well a few weeks later she started having complications from the hysterectomy. So when they went back in they found out that she had late stage stomach cancer. They said the cancer was so far gone that the doctors just closed her back up and sent her DIRECTLY to hospice...she had actually started the process of ACTIVELY dying and didn't know it. Man yall, she was gone from this earth like 2 days after labor day. The sad part is the twins other brother and sister mom (who I am close with) called me like on a Wednesday to tell me that I HAD to bring the twins up that weekend to see her. At that time on Wednesday she was still up and talking joking, drinking her favorite soda and what not...YALL when the twins and I got to Mayland by Saturday for all intensive purposes she was "gone". She didn't know who was their, basically all movement had stopped...she was just a shell...that QUICK yall..I hate freaking CANCER. My chief medical officer for the company I work for who is also my Vice President for my department, said that lung cancer is another bad one, she said that is a nasty cancer. She said that is a bad one to get as well.

    • hottlanta

      That picture of her is the business. Sandy u did that.

    • JENNYJONES1

      GLORIA WAS THE REAL QUEEN OF DON'T 'F' WITH ME AND MINES ESP MY 'D' B/C WHEN A BUILDING IN NEW YORK WOULDN'T RENT TO HER B/C SHE HAD A BLACK BOYFRIEND THIS BAD CHICK BOUGHT THE DAMN BUILDING AND FIRED THE STAFF!!! NOW THAT'S WHAT YOU CALL A BAD RICH BITCH!!!! R.I.P. GLORIA.............JENNY JONES!!!

    • Rayscoty

      Is that a photo from Star Trek

    • Marlika

      She was blessed to make it 95. Not sure what the big fuss is????? It’s sad she had stomach cancer but this is life. I’m sure she lived a full adventurous filthy rich lifestyle while on this earth.?

    • Love Luv

      Thank you for the awareness article Sandra. Your health beats are always on point. It’s good info to know because we all are at risk. Cancer is horrible!!

    • JENNYJONES1

      SO RICH AND/OR CELEBS SHOULDN'T BE MOURNED B/C THEY HAD MONEY? LOL!!! AND MS. GLORIA WASN'T JUST RICH OR A DESIGNER SHE DID A LOT FOR GAY RIGHTS AND STOOD UP FOR RACIALLY ISSUES ESP IN A TIME WHEN IT WASN'T POPULAR. HAVING $$$ OR LUXURIES DOESN'T MAKE YOU'RE BETTER THAN THE NEXT PERSON OR MEAN SYMPATHY SHOULD SKIP PASS YOU IF DEATH OR TRAGEDY COMES YOUR WAY. I GUESS YOU BETTER STAY POOR SO PEOPLE WILL POUR SYMPATHY AND EMPATHY IF YOU EVER GET SICK OR DIE. LOL!!!........JENNY JONES!!!

    • hottlanta

      U gon leave us hanging like that

    • JENNYJONES1

      YES I'D KEEP THOSE ESP NOW AND YOU SEE BABY PHAT IS COMING BACK. MOST PEOPLE JUST MAKE JEAN SHORTS OUT OF THEM. LOL!!!,,,,,,JENNY JONES!!!

    • Nik

      Sorry to hear this. I've had a few people in my life pass from cancer. That is a tough disease, even when it is treatable. One person was not feeling well but never went to the doctor. When she finally did the cancer was all over her body and there was nothing the doctors could do. After all the deaths I experienced this year alone, I'm living like tomorrow ain't coming.

    • MSGREENMINUSTHEENVY

      Really!? I love that!!!!

    • WhoKnew

      Yeah, I think I will keep them. I read that Baby Phat is coming back.

    • WhoKnew

      Sometimes I gotta leave and come back cuz some of these post are tew merch.

    • Karen Brady

      FUKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK EVERY TYPE OF CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PERIODT.

    • Logan Roberts

      RIP. To suffer towards the end of your life.

    • DallasRosebud

      Wasn't she the designer who said her jeans weren't made for black women? Or was that someone else?

    • Nik

      These days it's a blessing to make it that far. All of the people I lost this year minus one were under 60.

    • dontgetblocked

      She lived a long, wealthy and highly privileged life.

    • EasyBreezy

      Indeed!

    • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs
    • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs
    • luVn_liFe…

      this is a horrible cancer,my mother died from this.. she was diagnosed in Sept and passed away in Dec. Once you start realizing the symptoms it has pretty much infested you whole digestive system. my poor ma threw up neon green bile everyday,every hour for the last two weeks of her life. she struggled tremendously. awful. Poor Gloria.. "wont have to cry no more when you reach the other shore"

    • Eileen

      she sure did!

    • Eileen

      Thank you!

    • MNjumpoffacliff

      My cousin passed from this bs in 2013...rest Cassandra and Gloria....

    • Moon Lee

      I have to give Sandra Rose, a hand up! Great educational tutorial!?????

    • leapyearpisces

      Sorry for your losses, and yes, seeing people's lives stolen from them, DOES put what REALLY matters in perspectives. Give others and YOURSELF flowers while living.

    • Alextra Ballard

      My sister in law died from pancreatic cancer, less than 6 mos after diagnosis. She was in and out the hospital until her Dr informed her husband that nothing else could be done for her. She was sent home and everyday she was begging to die becuz she was in so much pain