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Stomach Cancer

(Gastric Cancer)

Definition

Stomach cancer is the growth of cancer cells in the stomach. The stomach is the organ in the upper belly that receives food. Different types of cancer are:

Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer

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Causes

Cancer happens when cells divide without control or order. These cells grow together to form a tumor. They can invade and damage nearby tissues. They can also spread to other parts of the body.

It is not clear what causes changes in the cells. It is likely a combination of genes and environment.

Risk Factors

Stomach cancer is more common in men. It is also more common in people from eastern Asia, eastern Europe, and South America. Other things that may raise the risk are:

Symptoms

In some people, stomach cancer may have no symptoms. Others may have:

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical health. A physical exam will be done.

Tests may include:

Imaging tests will be used to look for cancer or spreading of the cancer. They may include:

The exam and test results are used to diagnose the cancer. They are also used for staging. Staging outlines how far and fast cancer has spread.

Treatment

Cancer treatment depends on the stage and type of cancer. A combination of therapies may be used.

Options may include:

Prevention

The risk of stomach cancer may be reduced by:

Some people have a very high risk of stomach cancer due to genes. For them, stomach removal (gastrectomy) may be an option.

RESOURCES:

American Cancer Society
https://www.cancer.org

National Cancer Institute
https://www.cancer.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

BC Cancer Agency
http://www.bccancer.bc.ca

Canadian Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.ca

REFERENCES:

Gastric adenocarcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/gastric-adenocarcinoma. Accessed March 21, 2021.

General information about gastric cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/stomach/patient/stomach-treatment-pdq#section/_1. Accessed March 21, 2021.

Kamboj AK, Cotter TG, et al. Helicobacter pylori: the past, present, and future in management. Mayo Clin Proc. 2017;92(4):599-604.

Ménétrier disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/menetriers-disease. Accessed March 21, 2021.

Stomach cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/stomach-cancer.html. Accessed March 21, 2021.

Last reviewed January 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP  Last Updated: 3/21/2021