Stomach cancer: Surgeon explains the symptoms
Burping is a natural bodily function often caused by swallowing too much air or consuming fizzy drinks.
While it might be considered rude in certain social settings it is not generally something to be concerned about.
However, burping “too much” could signal something more sinister.
The NHS has warned that excessive belching can be a sign of stomach cancer.
Also known as gastric cancer, stomach cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the stomach grow and divide in an uncontrolled way.
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According to Cancer Research UK, the disease can start in any part of the stomach, although in most cases it starts in the inner lining of the organ.
Due to the location of the cancer, symptoms typically affect your eating and digestion.
It can also cause indigestion, leading to more frequent burping.
The NHS says: “There are many possible symptoms of stomach cancer, but they might be hard to spot.
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“They can affect your digestion, such as symptoms of indigestion, such as burping a lot.”
Cancer Research UK also lists indigestion “that doesn’t go away” and burping as signs of stomach cancer.
“You can get indigestion when acid from the stomach goes back up (refluxes) into the food pipe (oesophagus),” the charity explains.
“Or you can get it if you have irritation in your stomach.”
Symptoms of indigestion include:
- Being bloated
- Feeling or being sick
- Pain or discomfort in your chest or tummy
- A burning feeling in your chest (heartburn) after eating.
However, Cancer Research UK adds: “Remember, indigestion is common and is not usually caused by cancer.
“Indigestion and heartburn can be very painful, even if nothing is seriously wrong.
“See your doctor if these symptoms don’t go away. Also talk to your doctor if anything you take for indigestion stops working.”
Other signs of stomach cancer, according to the NHS, are:
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Having problems swallowing (dysphagia)
- Feeling or being sick
- Feeling full very quickly when eating
- Loss of appetite or losing weight without trying to
- A lump at the top of your tummy
- Pain at the top of your tummy
- Feeling tired or having no energy.
The health body recommends seeing your GP if you have:
- Problems swallowing
- A lump in your tummy
- Lost a noticeable amount of weight
- Other symptoms of stomach cancer that get worse or do not get better after three weeks
- A condition that causes symptoms with your digestion that are not getting better after three weeks of using your usual treatments.
If you experience vomiting for more than two days, however, you should call 111 for advice.
Stomach cancer accounts for around 4,200 deaths in the UK every year.
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