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Statistics and outlook for stomach cancer

Men and woman discussing stomach cancer

This page is about statistics the outlook for people with stomach cancer. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Statistics and outlook for stomach cancer

Outlook means your chances of getting better. Your doctor may call this your prognosis. As with many other types of cancer, the outcome of stomach cancer depends on how advanced it is when it is diagnosed.

Further down this page we have quite detailed information about the likely outcome of different stages of stomach cancer. The statistics we use are taken from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of our website. They are intended as a general guide only. For the more complete picture in your case, you’d have to speak to your own specialist.

We include statistics because people ask for them, but not everyone wishes to read this type of information. If you think you would like to have this information, please see further down this page.

How reliable are cancer statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. The statistics cannot tell you about the different treatments people may have had, or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. There are many individual factors that will affect your treatment and your prognosis.
 

CR PDF Icon You can view and print the quick guides for all the pages in the treating stomach cancer section.

 

 

About the information on this page

Following on this page, is quite detailed information about the survival rates for different stages of stomach cancer. We have included it because many people have asked us for this. But not everyone who is diagnosed with a cancer wants to read this type of information. If you are not sure whether you want to know at the moment or not, then you might like to skip this page for now. You can always come back to it.

Please note - There are no UK statistics available for different stages of cancer or treatments that people may have had. The statistics we present here are pulled together from a variety of different sources, including the opinions and experience of the experts who check each section of our website. We give statistics because people ask us for them. But they are only intended as a general guide and cannot tell you what will happen in your individual case.

 

Cancer statistics in general

There is a section explaining more about the different types of cancer statistics in the section on cancer statistics. Unless you are very familiar with medical statistics, you may find it helpful to read this before you read the information below.

Remember - statistics are averages based on large numbers of patients. They cannot predict exactly what will happen to you. No two people are exactly alike and response to treatment also varies from one person to another.

You should feel free to ask your doctor about your prognosis, but not even your doctor can tell you for sure what will happen. You may hear your doctor use the term 5 year survival. It does not mean you will only live 5 years. It relates to the number of people in research who are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. Doctors follow what happens to people for 5 years after treatment in any research study so that they can accurately compare the results of different treatments.

 

Overall outlook

Of all those with stomach cancer, about 42 out of every 100 people (42%) will live for at least a year after they are diagnosed. About 19 out of every 100 people (19%) will live for at least 5 years. And about 15 out of every 100 people (15%) will live for at least 10 years.

As with many other types of cancer, the outcome of stomach cancer depends on how advanced it is when it is diagnosed (the stage of your cancer). Most stomach cancers are advanced when they are diagnosed. Only about 20 out of 100 people (20%) are able to have surgery to try to cure their cancer. 

 

Outlook by stage

The outcome of stomach cancer depends on how far it has grown when it is diagnosed. Here is specific information about the outlook for the different stages of stomach cancer.

Stage one

For stage one stomach cancers, about 8 out of 10 people (80%) live for at least 5 years after they are diagnosed. Unfortunately, very few people are diagnosed this early – probably only about 1 in 100 cases of stomach cancer are stage 1.

Stage two

About 6 out of every 100 (6%) stomach cancers are stage two when they are diagnosed. With a stage 2 cancer, more than 5 out of 10 people diagnosed (56%) will live at least 5 years.

Stage three

Stage three stomach cancers are slightly more common still. About 1 in 7 people (14%) are stage 3 at diagnosis. As you might expect, the survival statistics fall with this more advanced stage of cancer. With stage 3A stomach cancer about a third of people (38%) live at least 5 years. With stage 3B about 1 in 6 people (15%) live for more than 5 years.

Stage four

Unfortunately, about 8 out of 10 (80%) people diagnosed with stomach cancer are stage four, meaning the cancer has already spread when they are diagnosed. Understandably, the survival statistics are lower than for stage 3 stomach cancers. Doctors generally think a patient is doing very well if they are still alive two years after being diagnosed with stomach cancer that has spread. Fewer than 1 in 20 people (5%) live for at least 5 years if they have stage 4 stomach cancer when they are diagnosed.

 

How reliable are these statistics?

No statistics can tell you what will happen to you. Your cancer is unique. The same type of cancer can grow at different rates in different people for example.

The statistics are not detailed enough to tell you about the different treatments people may have had. Or how that treatment may have affected their prognosis. Some treatments may help people to live longer as well as relieving symptoms. There are many individual factors that will determine your treatment and prognosis. If you are fit enough to have treatment, you are likely to do better than average.

 

Clinical trials

Research evidence shows that taking part in clinical trials may improve outlook. No one is completely sure why this is. It is probably partly to do with your doctors and nurses monitoring you more closely if you are in a trial. For example, you may have more scans and blood tests. There is more information in the trials and research section.

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Updated: 30 April 2014