What is stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is a malignant tumor that develops on the lining of the stomach. Stomach cancers are classified according to the type of tissue where they originate. The most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma, which starts in the glandular tissue of the stomach and accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all stomach cancers. Other forms of stomach cancer include: lymphomas, which involve the lymphatic system; and sarcomas, which involve connective tissue such as muscle, fat or blood vessels.
What are the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer in early stages does not usually cause symptoms. As the cancer grows, the most common symptoms include:
- Discomfort or pain in the stomach area
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Feeling full or bloated after a small meal
- Vomiting blood or having blood in the stool
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Other health problems, such as an ulcer or infection can cause the same symptoms. If you are experiencing these symptoms, discuss them with your physician.
How is stomach cancer treated?
The choice of treatment depends mainly on the size and location of the tumor, the stage of the disease, and your general health. Treatment options include: