Stomach (gastric) cancer

Stomach is a muscular sac located in your upper abdomen responsible for receiving and holding the food you eat and then helping to break down and digest it.

Cancer arising from the stomach is called stomach cancer or gastric cancer. It is hard to diagnose stomach cancer in its early stages. Indigestion and stomach discomfort can be symptoms of early cancer, but other problems can cause the same symptoms. In advanced cases, there may be blood in the stool, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, jaundice or trouble swallowing.

Diagnosis can be made by gastroscopy looking for signs of cancer. If any suspicious areas are found, a piece of tissue can be collected for analysis (biopsy). Risk factors for developing stomach cancer include a family history of stomach cancer, infection with Helicobacter pylori and smoking. Because it is often found late, it can be hard to treat stomach cancer. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination.