WWE Hall of Famer Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has been diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Snuka’s wife Carole made the announcement in an interview with 1Wrestling.com‘s Bill Apter:
“They have removed the cancer, and they removed a portion of his stomach and his lymph nodes. The doctor said he did very well. They’re very happy with the outcome.”
“He still has a long road ahead of him, and the doctor says he’s an amazingly strong man, and we all know how strong Jimmy is. Jimmy can take a beating. He says he’s ready for this fight. And he also wants to let his fans know that he’s not done yet…He is in a struggle right now, but he’s gonna be perfectly fine. And he will be back and visiting with his fans as soon as he feels up and ready to go.”
Snuka, born James Wiley Reiher, a native of Fiji, began his wrestling career in the 1970’s. He went on to be one of the biggest names in the WWF, and later the WWE. He is probably best known for his “aerial” maneuver called the Superfly Splash:
Stomach (gastric) cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the stomach.
The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) in foods that are eaten and helps pass waste material out of the body. Food moves from the throat to the stomach through a hollow, muscular tube called the esophagus. After leaving the stomach, partly-digested food passes into the small intestine and then into the large intestine.
The wall of the stomach is made up of 3 layers of tissue: the mucosal (innermost) layer, the muscularis (middle) layer, and the serosal (outermost) layer. Gastric cancer begins in the cells lining the mucosal layer and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.
Stomach cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the world. It is estimated that in 2015 there will be 24,590 new cases of stomach cancer in the United States. Since 2005, the number of new cases of stomach cancer in the U. S. has stayed about the same. Men are twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with stomach cancer.
Several types of cancers are found in the stomach:
What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?
What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
Early stomach cancer often does not cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, the most common symptoms are:
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options. The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options depend on the stage of the cancer (whether it is in the stomach only or has spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body) and the patient’s general health.
When stomach cancer is found very early, there is a better chance of recovery. Unfortunately, stomach cancer is often in an advanced stage when it is diagnosed. At later stages, gastric cancer can be treated but rarely can be cured.
The stages of stomach cancer are determined by how deep the tumor has grown through the layers of the stomach, whether any nearby lymph nodes are also involved and whether the tumor has spread outside of the stomach to distant parts of the body. In stage 0, the tumor is only present in the innermost layer of the stomach, the mucosa. In stage 1, the tumor has extended into the underlying submucosa. Stages 2 and 3 tumors have grown deeper into the stomach wall, and in stage 4, the tumor has grown outside of the stomach.
Five types of standard treatment are used:
Surgery is a common treatment of all stages of gastric cancer. The following types of surgery may be used:
Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy).
Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing. Chemoradiation therapy combines chemotherapy and radiation therapy to increase the effects of both. It is often given after surgery to decrease the risk that the cancer will return.
Targeted therapy is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to identify and attack specific cancer cells without harming normal cells. Monoclonal antibody therapy is a type of targeted therapy used in the treatment of gastric cancer.
Monoclonal antibody therapy uses antibodies made in the laboratory from a single type of immune system cell. These antibodies can identify substances on cancer cells or normal substances that may help cancer cells grow. The antibodies attach to the substances and kill the cancer cells, block their growth, or keep them from spreading. Monoclonal antibodies are given by infusion. They may be used alone or to carry drugs, toxins, or radioactive material directly to cancer cells. For stage IV gastric cancer and gastric cancer that has recurred, a monoclonal antibody such as trastuzumab may be given to block the effect of the growth factor protein HER2, which sends growth signals to gastric cancer cells.
Source: National Cancer Institute