Gastric cancer

Alternative Names

Cancer – stomach; Stomach cancer; Gastric carcinoma; Adenocarcinoma of the stomach

Definition of Gastric cancer

Gastric cancer is cancer that starts in the stomach.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Several different types of cancer can occur in the stomach. The most common type is called adenocarcinoma, which starts from one of the common cell types found in the lining of the stomach. There are several types of adenocarcinoma. Because other types of gastric cancer occur much less frequently, this article focuses on adenocarcinoma of the stomach.

Signs and tests

The following tests can help diagnose gastric cancer:


Surgical removal of the stomach () is the only curative treatment. and may be beneficial. A recent study showed that for many patients, chemotherapy and radiation therapy given after surgery improve the chance of a cure.

Expectations (prognosis)

The outlook varies widely. Tumors in the lower stomach are more often cured than those in the higher area — gastric cardia or gastroesophageal junction. The depth to which the tumor invades the stomach wall and whether lymph nodes are involved influence the chances of cure.


David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/5/2009

Digestive system
Stomach cancer, X-ray
Gastrectomy  - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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