Stomach cancer : symptoms, tests, prognosis

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  1. Stomach cancer
  2. Definition
  3. Causes
  4. Signs of Stomach Cancer
  5. Diagnosis
  6. Treatment and prognosis
  7. Prevention
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Stomach cancer

there are more than 6500 new cases of stomach cancer each year, almost 66% of which are in men. It mainly develops after the age of 65.

Stomach cancer

Photo Jonathan Borba in Pexels

What signs should they watch for? When should they see a doctor? What tests diagnose stomach cancer? Answers.


Stomach cancer is characterized in 9 out of 10 cases by an adenocarcinoma, that is, a cancer that develops from glandular cells in the stomach lining.

It is manifested by common symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or stomach pain,


Currently, several risk factors have been identified, such as chronic gastritis due to infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, smoking, alcoholism, excessive salt intake, diets low in fresh produce, family history of stomach cancer and genetic predisposition (Biermer's disease, Ménétrier's disease...).

Signs of Stomach Cancer

Gastric pain, gastroesophageal reflux, repeated nausea and vomiting are warning signs. But in general, the symptoms of stomach cancer are not specific to this disease.

Chronic fatigue, appetite loss and weight loss are common in the advanced stages.

More rarely, a digestive hemorrhage may indicate stomach cancer. Difficulty swallowing solid food, especially meat, may be a sign of stomach disease.

Stomach cancer can be discovered during an anemia checkup because the tumor can cause chronic micro-bleeding that goes unnoticed.


A gastroscopy is usually diagnosed late, by means of an endoscopic examination.

Take some blood. When stomach cancer is mentioned, a blood test is done first. This allows us to see the presence of anemia due to chronic bleeding, an increased sedimentation rate, which indicates the presence of an inflammatory syndrome.

Gastroscopy. The gastroscopy allows to determine the extension of the malignant tumor, but also to carry out a biopsy to determine the type of cancer that the patient has.

Ultrasound, computerized tomography An ultrasound and/or a CT scan of the abdomen completes the diagnosis by specifying the extent of the tumor, i.e., whether there are adenopathies (lymph node metastases) and metastases affecting distant organs.

This extension evaluation may be supplemented by other tests depending on symptoms that suggest another location.

Treatment and prognosis

The treatment of stomach cancer will depend on its type, stage, the patient's general condition and the location of the tumor.

Surgery. In all cases, the use of surgery is preferred whenever possible. This reference treatment consists of performing a partial or total gastrectomy to remove the tumor.

The area affected by the cancer is removed and the continuity of the digestive tract is restored using a technique called anastomosis. The operation is usually followed by chemotherapy and, more rarely, by radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy, radiotherapy. Chemotherapy may also be offered as an adjunct to surgery or when surgery is contraindicated, while radiation therapy is less common.

Close monitoring is necessary after treatment because of the risk of recurrence.

If stomach cancer is diagnosed early, the prognosis is favorable with a 5-year survival of 50-80%. However, if diagnosed late, the prognosis worsens and life expectancy decreases.


Several risk factors are known to be related to stomach cancer, particularly a diet too high in salt, fish and smoked meats.

Reducing the consumption of these products and promoting the consumption of fruits and vegetables is part of the prevention of stomach cancer. Quitting smoking is obviously essential, as is stopping the consumption of alcoholic beverages.

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