Living with Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is cancer of the stomach. In the vast majority of cases (95%), the stomach cancer is an adenocarcinoma, which forms in the innermost layer of the stomach. More than 21,000 new cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. The five-year survival rate for stomach cancer varies greatly depending on the location of the cancer in the stomach and the stage at which it is caught.
Stomach cancer affects more men than women, and nearly 70% of patients are over 65 years of age. Additional risk factors for stomach cancer include: smoking; a diet rich in salted, smoked, or pickled foods; and a family history of stomach cancer. Individuals who have had the helicobacter pylori bacterial infection (the primary cause of ulcers) are also at an increased risk. Early stomach cancer usually does not present obvious symptoms; later stage symptoms include difficulty swallowing, bloody stool, weight loss, jaundice, and nausea and vomiting. The stages of stomach cancer range from zero to IV, depending on tumor size and how widely it may have spread. Stomach cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and often involve a combination of these.
For more information on stomach cancer, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.
If you have been affected by stomach cancer, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions. Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.