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Types and grades

The type of stomach cancer you have depends on the type of cell it starts in and the grade how fast growing it is. Find out more.


Knowing the type of stomach cancer you have helps your doctor decide which treatment you need. 


Adenocarcinomas are cancers that develop in gland cells in the lining of the stomach. These cells make mucus and stomach juices. Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer.

Rare cancers

Other rare cancers can develop in the stomach, including: 

Squamous cell cancer is treated in the same way as adenocarcinoma.  Our information on the staging and treatment of stomach cancer is about adenocarcinoma.

Go to your cancer type if you have a GIST, lymphoma, neuroendocrine or sarcoma of the stomach.

Linitis plastica is a rare type of adneocarcinoma.

Grades of stomach cancer

The grade of a cancer tells you how much the cancer cells look like normal cells.

The grade gives your doctor an idea of how the cancer might behave and what treatment you need.

The grades of cancer cells are from 1 to 3:

  • grade 1 (low grade) look most like normal cells
  • grade 2 look a bit like normal cells
  • grade 3 (high grade) look very abnormal and not like normal cells
Last reviewed: 
05 Jul 2016
  • AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (7th Edition)
    S Edge (and others)
    Springer. 2011

  • Stomach cancer incidence statistics
    Cancer Research UK. 8th August, 2011

  • Cancer and its management (6th edition)
    Tobias and others
    Wiley Blackwell, 2010

Information and help

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