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Cancer Center

Stomach Cancer
Digestive cancers
Definition

Stomach cancer is relatively rare and, in recent years, has become less common. This type of cancer starts in the stomach lining. As the cancerous mass grows, it can break into and/or through the stomach wall and spread to other areas and organs of the body. Because stomach cancer tends to cause no symptoms in its early stages, it usually is not detected until the cancer is in an advanced stage

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Symptoms

While the causes of stomach cancer are unknown, doctors and scientists believe the decline in incidence might be attributed to improved diets and advances in safe food preservation. It’s important to note that normal stomach ulcers do not lead to stomach cancer.

Symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • An aching pain in the stomach
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Bleeding or vomiting blood in advanced cases

The risks of stomach cancer increase with:

  • Age (it tends to develop in middle age)
  • Excessive use of tobacco or alcohol
  • Poor diet that is heavy on smoked or pickled foods or that is lacking fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Family history of stomach cancer

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Treatment

A doctor will perform a physical examination, review symptoms with the patient and perform testing that may include:

If initial testing indicates the presence of stomach cancer, treatment may include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

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