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Stage 0 (high grade dysplasia)

Find out what stage 0 stomach cancer means and about treatment options.

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.

Stage 0 or high grade dysplasia means that you have a very early stage of stomach cancer. There are abnormal cells in your stomach lining, but they’re completely contained within the innermost layer of the lining. There’s very little risk of any having spread. It's not usual for stomach cancer to be diagnosed this early.

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The stage of your cancer helps your doctor to decide what treatment you need. Treatment also depends on:

  • your type of cancer (the type of cells the cancer started in)
  • where the cancer is in your stomach
  • other health conditions

For stage 0 cancer your surgeon may be able to remove the cancer from the lining of the stomach.

You have this surgery through a flexible tube called an endoscope. You’re asleep when you have it.

The doctor puts the tube down your throat. They can then put a thin wire (snare) through the tube to remove the cancer cells. This surgery is called endoscopic mucosal resection or EMR.

You may need surgery to remove part or all of your stomach if it’s not possible to remove your cancer with an endoscopic mucosal resection.

About other stages

Last reviewed: 
19 Jul 2016
  • AJCC Cancer Staging Manual (7th Edition)
    S Edge (and others)
    Springer, 2011

  • Gastric cancer: ESMO-ESSO-ESTRO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow-up
    Waddell t. (and others)
    Annals of Oncology 24. 2013. (Supplement 6) vi57-vI63

  • Guidelines for the management of oesophageal and gastric cancer
    Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Society of Gastroenterology and the British Association of Surgical Oncology
    Allum (and others)
    Gut 2011;60:1449-1472

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