Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Tests For Stomach Cancer

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer and is cancerous growth that begins in the stomach. There are different types of stomach cancers but the most common one is adenocarinoma. This cancer is when new mutated cells form in the lining of the stomach. Other cancers include cells targeting the nerves, the lymph nodes, and tumors that form within the gastrointestinal tract. Adenocarcinoma is the form of cancer is very common in Japan and Iceland.

Tests Recommended

There are all the common tests used to detect stomach cancer. Different imaging tests are used for stomach cancer like upper gastrointestinal (GI) series, endoscopic ultrasound, computed tomography or CT/ CAT scan, magnetic resonance or MRI scan, positron emission tomography or PET scan and a chest X-ray. Each of these methods uses different methods to inject and insert objects to detect possible cancer growth in the stomach. Sometimes blood tests can also be used to detect stomach cancer. A complete blood count or a CBC is ordered to determine whether there is anemia, as a result of internal bleeding. If there is blood in the stools, a fecal occult blood test is usually ordered. Blood tests can also be done to determine if all other organs and organ systems are working fine. A laparoscopy is also sometimes used to determine the size of the tumor.


The causes of stomach cancer are many. With advancing age and a family history of cancer, especially stomach cancer. A diet high in bad foods like fried and salted foods along with fewer fruits and vegetables has been known to lead to stomach cancer. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol regularly are also very harmful for not just your life but has also been known to cause stomach cancer. If you have a lifestyle with some of these factors, then you face the risk of getting stomach cancer.

A helicobacter pylori infection is a bacterial infection known to cause stomach cancer. History of weakened digestive systems due to ulcers and infections also cause reduced immunity and more probability of cancer. A constant diet of anti inflammatory drugs can damage the stomach lining and make the organ susceptible to cancer. Suffering from other cancers and having a weakened immunity system is also known to increase risk for stomach cancer. The presence of polyps in your digestive system is another risk of the polyps taking the shape of stomach cancer. Exposure to different chemicals including radiation can also make it easier for your body for stomach cancer. Reduced body weight along with weakened immunity is also a cause for stomach cancer. Eating foods that have been contaminated with aflatoxin fungus can also cause stomach cancer. Any long term stomach ailment affecting digestion is a potential cause for stomach cancer.


Stomach cancer symptoms can be mistaken for many other conditions like bad digestion, plain fatigue and heartburn. Persistent symptoms without any relief need to be addressed. Some of the symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • Abdominal pain and constant discomfort.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting with a pronounced loss of appetite.
  • There can also be abdominal bloating which can be a physical manifestation of something seriously wrong.
  • Excessive tiredness and constant weight loss for no apparent reason could also indicate the beginning of cancer and you need to bring these feelings to the attention of your doctor.
  • Sometimes, in really serious cases, there are even changes in the way you pass stools and a change in your bowel habits. You might also notice occasional blood in your stools. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately.


Stomach cancer treatment is mostly surgery to remove the cancer growth. This would largely depend on how fast one is able to determine the growth of the cancer. Surgery would entail the removal of the entire stomach lining to the entire stomach, depending on how much of it has been affected. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are also used to remove any trace of cancer. These treatments can also be harmful and kill living cells. Sometimes there are targeted therapies where certain drugs could also be used in order to target the tumors. This therapy is largely used in the treatment of a cancer that is very rare called as stomach cancer called gastrointestinal stromal tumor.

Many people nowadays like to sign up for clinical trials of complementary and alternative therapies. These treatments might not guarantee a cure or healing of stomach cancer but are known to cause less damage to the body while trying to heal the cancer. Leading a healthier life in terms of diet and lifestyle choices could prevent stomach cancer. There are no definite ways to prevent stomach cancer except to improve your lifestyle and get regular checkups. Eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce your intake of salty and preserved food and stop smoking. Eating properly and taking care of yourself is also important even if you are diagnosed with stomach cancer.