What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer is cancer that starts anywhere inside the stomach or the stomach wall. It’s also called gastric cancer.

Symptoms of stomach cancer

Symptoms of stomach cancer include difficulty swallowing, weight loss and indigestion (dyspepsia).

Getting diagnosed

You usually start by seeing your GP and they might refer you to a specialist and organise tests. Find out more about tests and screening for stomach cancer. 

Risks and causes of stomach cancer

Factors that increase the risk of stomach cancer include being older or overweight, smoking, and a type of infection called helicobacter pylori. 

Types and grades

The type of cancer tells you which type of cell the cancer started in. The grade means how abnormal the cells look under a microscope. 


The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and how far it’s spread. It helps your doctor decide which treatment you need.


Survival depends on many factors including the stage and grade of your stomach cancer. 


Your treatment depends on whereabouts your cancer is in the stomach, how big it is, whether it has spread anywhere else in your body and your general health. 

Advanced cancer

Advanced stomach cancer means that a cancer that began in the stomach has spread to at least one other part of the body, such as the liver or lungs.

Living with stomach cancer

There is support available to help you cope during and after stomach cancer treatment. This includes diet tips to help you eat well.

Research and clinical trials

Research trials aim to find out if new treatments are safe and better than those currently available for stomach cancer.

Last reviewed: 
12 Dec 2019
Coronavirus and cancer

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