Linitis plastica of the stomach | Cancer Research UK
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Linitis plastica of the stomach

This page tells you about linitis plastica, a rare type of stomach cancer. There is information about 


What linitis plastica is

Gastric linitis plastica is the medical term for a rare type of stomach (gastric) cancer. It is a type of stomach adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcioma is the most common form of stomach cancer. Because linitus plastica is rare there is very little information about it. 

Linitis plastica spreads to the muscles of the stomach wall and makes it thicker and more rigid. This means that the stomach can’t hold as much and doesn’t stretch or move as it should when food is digested. This stiff walled stomach is sometimes called a leather bottle stomach.


Treatment for linitis plastica in the stomach

Treatment for gastric linitis plastica is similar to that for other types of stomach cancers. Your doctor may suggest that they remove your stomach with an operation called a total gastrectomy. But this is not always successful as this type of cancer is very fast growing. If the cancer is large or if it has spread beyond the stomach wall it may not be possible to remove it all during surgery. 

If the cancer has spread to other parts of your body such as the lymph nodes or the lining of the abdominal organs and it’s cavity (peritoneum), you may have surgery to help relieve symptoms, for example those caused by a blockage.

If surgery isn’t an option, then chemotherapy may be possible. The aim of chemotherapy treatment is to slow down the growth of the cancer and to relieve symptoms. It is important to weigh up the benefits of having chemotherapy with the possible side effects. As well as taking into account how well you are generally. 

You can read our detailed information on chemotherapy for stomach cancer

You may also find it useful to read our section on living with stomach cancer.

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Updated: 24 February 2014