Stomach (Gastric) Cancer


This cancer usually forms in the cells that line the inside of the stomach. These cells produce your stomach's protective mucus layer. Stomach cancer is not as common as other cancers. It can spread to other parts of the body if it is not treated in its early stages.

Causes and Risk Factors

Doctors aren't sure what causes stomach cancer. Several factors can raise your risk for the disease. It is more common in older males. It is more common in people who eat a diet high in salted, smoked or preserved foods and low in fruits and vegetables. Smoking raises your risk for the disease. So does a family history of this cancer. The disease has been linked to stomach polyps, long-term stomach inflammation and infections of the stomach. And it is linked to a condition called pernicious anemia, a type of vitamin B12 deficiency.


Symptoms of stomach cancer may include severe indigestion. You may experience stomach pain, heartburn, nausea and vomiting. It can cause you to feel bloated and full after eating small amounts of food. It can result in unexpected weight loss and fatigue.


Treatment options vary depending on the stage of your cancer. You may have surgery to remove tumors from your stomach. Doctors may remove part or all of the stomach itself. Options such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy or other techniques are also available. Your doctor will design a treatment plan that is right for you.