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Adenocarcinoma forms in mucus-secreting glands throughout the body. It can occur in many different places in the body. Its name comes from the word “adeno,” meaning 'pertaining to a gland' and “carcinoma” meaning cancer. The tissues affected by adenocarcinoma are part of a larger tissue category known as epithelial. Epithelial cells and tissues line skin, glands and organs like the stomach, esophagus and many more.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

High volume experience with adenocarcinoma cancers. We offer better treatment outcomes and fewer potential complications for stomach cancers.

Survival rates above the national average. Sylvester has up to a 14 percent higher five-year survival rate than the national average for patients treated for late-stage gastric cancers. You receive the best potential hope for life after stomach cancer.

More cancer clinical trials than any other South Florida hospital. If appropriate for your cancer and stage, our clinical trials provide you with the very newest ways to treat and potentially cure your cancer.

Top reconstructive team in rebuilding an esophagus or stomach after surgery. You can return you to the quality of life you are accustomed to living.

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Treatments for adenocarcinoma of the stomach and gastric (digestive) tract are based on your diagnosis and exact case. Your doctor will review recommendations with you. You will be an informed partner in your treatment planning. Options include:

  • Surgery

    Adenocarcinoma is typically treated with surgery to remove any cancerous glandular tissue. Some surrounding tissue is also removed. Minimally invasive surgery techniques can reduce healing time and minimize potential infection. Surgery is the only curative treatment for gastric cancer. Chemotherapy is often done first before surgery of the stomach and gastric tract.

    • Subtotal gastrectomy: A subtotal gastrectomy is the removal of roughly 80% of your stomach. Total gastrectomy sometimes is needed afterward. Chemotherapy would be done before the surgery, and sometimes after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells. Patients undergoing total gastrectomy can still often maintain strong gastrointestinal function after the recovery period.

    • Endoluminal stent placement: A stent (a thin, expandable tube) is inserted into the esophagus to prop the passageway open to the stomach; or a stent is placed from the stomach leading to the small intestine. By opening up any blocked passages, you will be able to eat and receive proper nutrition.

    • Gastrojejunostomy: This surgery removes the part of the stomach with cancer that is blocking areas leading into your small intestine. The jejunum is part of the small intestine. If it is blocked by cancer, food and medicine cannot easily pass from the stomach into the small intestine.

    • Endoluminal laser therapy: An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube. It has a laser attached to it. An endoscope is inserted into the blocked area. We use the laser in place of a scalpel to remove the blockage.

    • Gastrectomy: This is a more complex surgery for much more advanced tumors. A surgeon will remove your stomach and attach your esophagus to the small intestine. You would receive a prescription for medicine to help manage post-surgery discomfort and to lessen symptoms. You would be able to eat small amounts of food at a time. Additional support services would be offered as part of your care and nutrition plan.

    • Lymphadenectomy: Regional lymph nodes are often removed during stomach surgery because cancer may have spread.

    • Radical surgical resection: Available for resectable, or able to be removed by surgery, primary adenocarcinomas. This involves the removal of the tumor’s blood supply, lymph nodes, and sometimes adjacent structures during surgery.

    • Surgical bypass of obstructing lesion: Available when a radical surgical procedure would be a risk for a certain patient, based on the tumor or a medical history.

    • Endoscopic surgery: Many gastric cancer surgeries are performed with a minimally invasive approach. The surgeons insert an endoscope (a flexible thin tube with a tiny attached camera and a powerful light) through the mouth and esophagus. An endoscope has a channel through which the doctor inserts tools to collect suspicious tissue or to provide treatment. He or she can then see a magnified view of the tumor and can operate with small instruments to remove it.

    • Laparoscopic surgery: The surgeon will make three or more very small (5-10 mm) incisions in your abdomen called access ports. The laparoscope and its tiny surgical instruments are inserted through these ports. The surgeon then uses the laparoscope, which transmits a picture of the abdominal organs on a video monitor, to see fine details inside the digestive tract and stomach. Laparoscopic surgery offers you less pain and often less recovery time than a traditional open surgery.

  • Radiation Therapy

    Radiation therapy is often combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy for treating adenocarcinoma. Advanced radiation therapies make use of image-guided approaches in modern radiation therapy machines. You might receive radiation therapy before surgery to shrink the tumor or after surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells.

  • Chemotherapy

    Chemotherapy uses medicines to destroy cancer cells. It is delivered through an intravenous (IV) tube placed into a vein with a needle, or as pills to swallow. Chemotherapy is often combined with other forms of treatment.

    • Intravenous (infusion) chemotherapy is offered at our Comprehensive Treatment Unit (CTU) at Sylvester's main location in Miami. This is a 12,000-square-foot unit that includes 33 recliners and 11 private rooms. If you prefer, you may have your infusion treatments at the Kendall, Plantation, Hollywood, Coral Springs, Coral Gables, or Deerfield Beach locations.

    • Some chemotherapy drugs used for adenocarcinoma, stomach or gastric cancers include:

      • Cisplatin (Platinol)
      • Fluorouracil (5-FU, Adrucil)
      • Capecitabine (Xeloda)
      • Docetaxel (Docefrez, Taxotere)
      • Epirubicin (Ellence)
      • Irinotecan (Camptosar)
      • Oxaliplatin (Eloxatin)
      • Paclitaxel (Taxol)

  • Targeted Therapy

    Targeted therapy focuses on treating specific genes, proteins, or the tissue environment that contributes to cancer growth. Target therapies block the growth and spread of cancer cells. This approach can help decrease any potential damage to healthy cells.

    • Anti-angiogenesis therapy is an example of a targeted therapy. It helps stop or slow down the cancer cell’s ability to create new blood vessels. This helps to “starve” the tumor.

  • Immunotherapy

    Immunotherapy, also called biologic therapy, helps boost the body's natural defenses to fight cancer. Immunotherapies can be part of a clinical trial. Your doctor will discuss this option if you are a good candidate for this approach.

  • Palliative Care

    Many therapies are offered to help reduce symptoms and side effects before or after treatment. Ask your doctor about palliative cancer options for your stomach cancer and your treatment plan. These therapies and options can increase your quality of life during and after treatment.

  • Clinical Trials

    Newer treatments may be available through clinical trials. These are studies of the most promising new therapies. Talk with your doctor about if a clinical trial is an option for you.


  • Upper Endoscopy

    An endoscope is like a thin tube with a light and an ultrasound probe at the end. The doctor will use it to see inside your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (entry to your small intestine) to check for any abnormal areas.

  • Biopsy

    A biopsy of the stomach is usually done during the endoscopy. The sample of tissue can be obtained through the endoscope.

  • Upper GI Series

    Also called a barium swallow, this test involves a series of X-rays of the esophagus and stomach. You will drink a liquid that contains barium (a silver-white metallic compound), which coats the esophagus and stomach, showing abnormalities on X-ray.

  • CT Scan (Computed Tomography)

    This scan, with or without contrast dye, allows a series of detailed pictures of areas inside the body, taken from different angles.

  • PET Scan (Positron Emission Tomography)

    In this procedure used to find malignant tumor cells in the body, a small amount of radioactive glucose (sugar) is injected into a vein. The PET scanner rotates around the body and makes a picture of where glucose is being used. Malignant tumor cells show up brighter in the picture because they are more active and take up more glucose than normal cells do. A PET scan and CT scan may be done at the same time (PET-CT) to combine the different types of information each test gives.

  • Blood Chemistry Studies

    These tests use a blood sample to measure the amounts of certain substances like glucose released into the blood by different organs. An unusually higher or lower than normal amount can be a sign of disease in the organ that makes it.

  • Complete Blood Count

    This test checks for the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets; the amount of hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen) in the red blood cells, and the portion of the sample made up of red blood cells.

  • CEA (Carcinoembryonic Antigen) Assay

    This substance is released into the bloodstream from both cancer cells and normal cells. When found in higher than normal amounts, it can be a sign of gastric cancer or other conditions.

  • HER2neu Tumor Tissue Test

    The tumor may be checked to measure how many HER2 genes there are and how much HER2 protein is being made. If there are more HER2 genes or higher levels of HER2 protein than normal, the cancer is called HER2 positive and has other options for treatment, such as targeted therapy with a monoclonal antibody that targets the HER2 protein.

  • Genomic Tumor Profiling

    Also called somatic DNA testing, this breakthrough test is the driver for precision medicine. It looks at your tumor’s molecular signature to identify characteristics indicating how aggressive it is and what types of treatment will work best.

Accepted Insurances

Note: Health plans that are currently contracted with UHealth are listed below. However, please check with your insurance provider to verify that UHealth is part of your provider network.