Stomach Cancer (Gastric cancer)
Cancer - stomach; Stomach cancer; Gastric carcinoma; Adenocarcinoma of the stomachOverview
Gastric cancer is cancer that starts in the stomach.
Review Date: 11/5/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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Several different types of cancer can occur in the stomach. The most common type is called adenocarcinoma, which starts from one of the common cell types found in the lining of the stomach. There are several types of adenocarcinoma. Because other types of gastric cancer occur much less frequently, this article focuses on adenocarcinoma of the stomach.
Adenocarcinoma of the stomach is a common
Diagnosis is often delayed because symptoms may not occur in the early stages of the disease, or because patients self-treat symptoms that may be common to other, less serious gastrointestinal disorders (bloating, gas, heartburn, and a sense of fullness).
Risk factors associated with gastric cancer are a family history of gastric cancer,
Call your health care provider if symptoms of gastric cancer develop.
Surgical removal of the stomach (
For patients in whom surgery is not an option, chemotherapy or radiation can improve symptoms and may prolong survival but will likely not cure the cancer. For some patients, a surgical bypass procedure may provide relief of symptoms.
Mass screening programs have been successful in detecting disease in the early stages in Japan, where the risk of gastric cancer is very high. The value of screening in the United States and other countries with lower rates of gastric cancer is not clear.
The following may help reduce your risk of gastric cancer:
The outlook varies widely. Tumors in the lower stomach are more often cured than those in the higher area -- gastric cardia or gastroesophageal junction. The depth to which the tumor invades the stomach wall and whether lymph nodes are involved influence the chances of cure.
In circumstances in which the tumor has spread outside of the stomach, cure is not possible and treatment is directed toward improvement of symptoms.
The following tests can help diagnose gastric cancer: