Surgery is the most effective treatment for gastric cancer. With this surgery, the tumor tissue and the stomach are usually removed and all lymph nodes that are likely to spread. If the tumor is in advanced stage, chemotherapy may be necessary before surgery. Tumors that shrink after chemotherapy can be operated.
If the stomach is completely removed during surgery, the small intestines are sewn into the esophagus and the food taken from the mouth is transferred from the esophagus to the intestines. Since there is no stomach, patients need to be fed less or less frequently. In addition, absorption of iron and vitamin B12 taken from food after gastric surgery cannot be achieved. They will therefore need to be supplemented monthly.