Stomach cancer: Surgeon explains the symptoms
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Eighteen months ago, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s eldest son, Nicholas, was diagnosed with gastric cancer. In a statement shared with PA news agency, the 75-year-old said: “I am absolutely devastated to say that my eldest son Nick is critically ill. As my friends and family know, he has been fighting gastric cancer for the last 18 months and Nick is now hospitalised.”
Webber chose to miss the opening of Bad Cinderella at New York’s Imperial Theatre on Thursday, March 23, as his son’s health deteriorated.
“We are all praying that Nick will turn the corner. He is bravely fighting with his indomitable humour, depakote cause rash but at the moment my place is with him and the family,” Webber added.
Son Nicholas, 43, developed pneumonia “as a result of his cancer”, Webber said.
Posting to Twitter and Instagram, Webber wanted to thank fans for the “huge outpouring of messages” he has received during this stressful time.
“He’s battling away,” Webber said. “I think he’s over the worst of this first bout of pneumonia as a result of his cancer.”
Describing the disease as “ghastly”, Webber confirmed that all the family have “gathered around” for Nicholas. “It was the right place for us all to be.”
Cancer Research UK pointed out the “most common” symptoms of gastric cancer (also known as stomach cancer).
Symptoms of gastric cancer can range from:
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tummy pain
- Indigestion (dyspepsia) that doesn’t go away
- Feeling full after eating small amounts
- A loss of appetite
- Feeling or being sick
- Dark poo
- Tiredness due to low levels of red blood cells.
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The disease affects around 6,500 people each year in the UK, with many cases being linked to lifestyle or environmental factors.
“Stomach cancer is linked with a bacteria that lives in the stomach called Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori),” Cancer Research UK notes.
An infection with H.pylori has been linked to 40 percent of gastric cancer cases.
However, not everybody infected with H.pylori will develop the deadly disease.
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Additional risk factors for stomach cancer include smoking tobacco, being overweight, and drinking more than three units of alcohol each day.
The NHS clarified that hospice care “is to improve the lives of people who have an incurable illness”.
The health body adds: “Hospices provide care for people from the point at which their illness is diagnosed as terminal to the end of their life, however long that may be.”
Sometimes people are able to take a break from hospice care if their illness becomes stable and they are feeling well enough.
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Most hospice care is provided at home, but can also take place in a care home or hospice.
Services include medical and nursing care to help manage pain and other symptoms.
“Some people have a number of periods of hospice care, depending on their condition and their wishes,” the NHS adds.
Andrew Lloyd Webber At The BBC showcases on Saturday, March 25 at 9:25pm on BBC Two.
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