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Controlling symptoms of advanced stomach cancer

Find out about possible symptoms of advanced stomach cancer and when to see your doctor. 

Advanced stomach cancer means that a cancer that began in the stomach has spread to another part of the body or has come back after previous treatment. Advanced cancer can cause symptoms. You might have one or more symptoms.

Tell your doctor or nurse about any symptoms that you have so they can help you.

Treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or biological therapy can sometimes help to shrink the cancer, reduce symptoms and help you feel better. Other treatments such as laser therapy or stents can treat specific symptoms such as a blockage in the stomach.


Symptoms if the cancer has spread

You might have other symptoms, depending on where the cancer has spread.

Help with controlling symptoms

Your doctor or specialist nurse can:
  • give you medicines
  • get equipment that you need
  • suggest other ways of controlling your symptoms
  • refer you to a symptom control team (a palliative care team)

Symptom control team

Members of the team are experts at controlling symptoms. They can help you to stay as well as possible for as long as possible. There are symptom control teams in most cancer units. They are also in hospices and many general hospitals.

Most symptom control teams have home care services so they can visit you at home.

Last reviewed: 
05 Jul 2016
  • Guidelines for the management of oesophageal and gastric cancer
    British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG), 2011

  • Management of oesophageal and gastric cancer
    Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), June 2006

  • The role of stents in the palliation of stomach cancer
    P Glen
    BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, 2016. 6:1 135-139

  • Cancer and its management
    J Tobias and D Hochhauser
    John Wiley and Sons Ltd (2015)

  • Gastric cancer: ESMO–ESSO–ESTRO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
    T Waddell and others
    Annals of oncology, Vol 24, Sup 6, 157-163 (October 2013)

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