Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is a type of gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. Cancer can develop in any part of the stomach and spread throughout the stomach and to other organs, such as the small intestines, lymph nodes, liver, pancreas, and colon.

Detection And Prevention

Stomach cancer is most common in those over age 55. Men are affected twice as often as women, and African Americans are at greater risk. Experts believe that a type of bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H pylori), which can cause inflammation and ulcers in the stomach, can be an important risk factor for stomach cancer. Tobacco use also increases the risk, as can certain diseases, such as pernicious anemia and inherited cancer syndromes. People who eat a diet high in salted or smoked foods may be at higher risk.

To help prevent stomach cancer, you can stop smoking, treat H pylori infections, and add fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. Get to and stay at a healthy weight and increase your physical activity. Currently there is no screening test for stomach cancer for the general public with no symptoms.

Diagnosis

Stomach cancer in its early stages rarely causes symptoms. Often the diagnosis is made after the cancer has spread. These common symptoms may be caused by stomach cancer or by other conditions. Check with your doctor if you have any of the following:

  • Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite or feelings of fullness after eating a small meal
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Bleeding (vomiting blood or passing blood in stools)
  • Weight loss
  • Blood in the stool

After taking a complete history and performing a physical examination, your doctor may order tests to look for stomach cancer.

Treatment

We’ll consider the type, size, and stage of your stomach cancer, plus your age and overall health, to recommend one or more of the following treatment strategies:

  • Surgery to remove the primary (main) tumor
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to kill or stop the growth or spread of cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to prevent or delay your cancer's return
  • Symptom management for pain or other cancer-related symptoms

At Premier Health, our team has extensive experience treating stomach cancer. A common treatment is minimally invasive and traditional surgery to remove part or all of the stomach and nearby tissues. If the entire stomach is removed, our surgical oncologist then connects the esophagus to the small intestine to maintain the ability to eat and swallow. Occasionally, a temporary feeding tube may be necessary. With a significant change in diet, patients can live relatively normal lives after stomach cancer surgery.

Keeping You Safe During COVID-19

You will find new safety measures in place when you schedule appointments and come to our facilities — all with the goal of keeping you safe as we care for you.

Contact Us

Our cancer team is here for you. Our cancer specialists have access to nationally recognized cancer care protocols and best practices, since Premier Health is a certified member of MD Anderson Cancer Network®, a program of MD Anderson Cancer Center. Our patients benefit from advanced local care backed by the world-renowned expertise of the nation’s leading cancer center. 

Call the Premier Health cancer hotline at (844) 316-HOPE(844) 316-4673 (4673), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to connect with a Premier Health cancer navigator.