Surgery can help relieve symptoms of advanced stomach cancer including a blockage. Find out about the types of surgery.
Why you may need surgery
You may need surgery to relieve symptoms if you have advanced cancer and it can’t be cured. This is called palliative surgery. What surgery you’ll have depends on:
- the size of your cancer
- where the cancer is
- your general health and fitness
- your symptoms
The main reason people have surgery is to relieve a blockage. Stomach cancer can grow so that it blocks, or partly blocks, the passage of food through your digestive system. This can cause:
- feeling full after eating only small amounts
To relieve these symptoms, or stop them getting worse, you may have bypass surgery or surgery to remove part of your stomach.
There are two types of operation:
- surgery to remove part of your stomach – partial gastrectomy
- bypass surgery
Other treatments for a blockage include:
- a stent
- chemotherapy or biological therapy
Surgery to remove part of your stomach
Removing part of your stomach (partial gastrectomy) can relieve a blockage. How much the surgeon removes depends on the position of the cancer. You’ll have a smaller stomach afterwards and you’ll need to eat small amounts more often rather than a big meal.
You may have a bypass operation if your surgeon can’t remove the cancer. The surgeon attaches the small bowel (duodenum) to the part of the stomach above the blockage. The food can then move through to the bowel.