Stomach cancer

Around 7,300 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer in the UK each year.

There are different types but this section is about adenocarcinoma, which is the most common type and accounts for 95% of all stomach cancers.

Adenocarcinoma starts in the glandular cells of thestomach lining.

Less common cancers that can start in the stomach include:

  • soft tissue sarcomas, including gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs)
  • lymphomas, such as mucosa associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas
  • carcinoid tumours.

Symptoms of stomach cancer

The early symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to the symptoms of some common stomach conditions.

The early symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • heartburn or indigestion that doesn't go away
  • burping a lot
  • having no appetite
  • feeling full after eating only a small amount.

Other possible symptoms are:

  • pain in the upper tummy area
  • losing weight
  • being sick
  • having difficulty swallowing
  • blood in your stools (bowel motions) or black stools
  • feeling tired and sometimes breathless (due to anaemia, which is a reduced number of red blood cells).

These symptoms can be due to other conditions. But it's important to get them checked. Your doctor can arrange tests if necessary.

If you are over 55 and suddenly develop indigestion that doesn't go away, you should always have an endoscopy.

*Information provided by Macmillan cancer support

;