Learn About Stomach Cancer, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

All You Need To Know About Stomach Cancer
2 Nov 2022
7 mins
Table Of Content
Learn About Stomach Cancer, Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

    The stomach is a part of the digestive system found in the upper abdomen. Stomach cancer occurs as a result of abnormal multiplication and division of cells. It is also known as gastric cancer and can begin anywhere in the stomach. Typically, stomach cancer begins in the cell linings and grows deeper within the stomach as cancer progresses. 

    Please keep reading to learn more about stomach cancer, its causes, symptoms, and treatments

    Stomach Cancer Causes


    When the DNA of the cells undergoes genetic mutations, stomach cancer occurs. These genetic changes or mutations cause the cells to proliferate abnormally. The exact causes of stomach cancer are not known. However, there are certain risk factors that might increase the risk of developing stomach cancer. These stomach cancer risk factors include: 


    1. Gender: Men are more prone to developing risk cancer when compared to women


    2. Age: People above 55 years are at more risk of developing stomach cancer.

    3. Family history: A family history of stomach cancer increases a person's risk of developing it too.

    4. H. Pylori infection: H pylori (Helicobacter pylori) infection, which causes stomach ulcers and inflammation, acts as a risk factor for stomach cancer.

    5. Obesity: Being overweight or obese increases the risk of acquiring stomach cancer.

    6. Occupational exposure: Being exposed to dust and fumes might also increase the risk of stomach cancer.

    7. Unhealthy eating habits: Eating an unhealthy diet with more salt and smoked foods increase the chances of developing stomach cancer.

    8. Previous surgery or health conditions: People who have undergone stomach surgery in the past or have conditions like pernicious anemia or achlorhydria have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.

    9. Stomach polyps: Polyps are non-cancerous growths that develop on the stomach linings. Most polyp forms, including hyperplastic and inflammatory polyps, do not raise a person's risk of stomach cancer. However, adenomatous polyps can turn into cancer.

    10. Tobacco and alcohol consumption: Excessive smoking, tobacco usage, and heavy alcohol consumption may also be potential risk factors for stomach cancer.

    11. Epstein-Barr virus: Being infected with the Epstein-Barr virus also puts a person at risk of stomach cancer. 

    12. GERD and Gastritis: GERD and gastritis also increase stomach cancer risk. 

    13. Genetic disorders: Having genetic disorders like Lynch syndrome, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC), familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), gastric adenoma, and proximal polyposis of the stomach (GAPPS) or Li-Fraumeni syndrome increases the risk of stomach cancer. 

    Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer


    In its early stages, stomach cancer doesn't usually show prominent symptoms. The symptoms of stomach cancer start becoming prominent when the cancer is in its advanced stage. The various symptoms of stomach cancer include:


    • Abdominal pain
    • Unexplained and sudden weight loss
    • Loss of appetite
    • Feeling full after eating only a small meal (Early satiety)
    • Heartburn or indigestion
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
    • Black stools
    • Trouble swallowing

    Stomach Cancer Treatment


    The treatment plan for stomach cancer usually depends upon the type, stage of cancer, size and location of the tumor, and general and overall patient health. The various treatment options available for treating stomach cancer include:


    1. Surgery: A surgery is usually performed to remove the tumor, a part of it, or all of the stomach. During surgery, the nearby lymph nodes and tissues may also be removed, depending upon the cancer spread. Surgery is a common approach for most stomach cancer stages. Subtotal gastrectomy and total gastrectomy are two surgeries used for stomach cancer treatment.

    2. Chemotherapy: These drugs kill cancer cells and prevent them from growing. In stomach cancer, chemotherapy may be given before performing a surgery to shrink the cancer cells. It might also be used in combination with radiation therapy.

    3. Radiation therapy: This treatment approach uses high-energy X-rays or proton beams focused on cancer to damage the DNA of cancer cells and shrink tumors. This DNA damage inhibits the cancer cells from proliferating further.

    4. Targeted therapy: This treatment works by identifying and targeting the genes or proteins involved in cancer cells, leading to their proliferation.

    5. Immunotherapy: This treatment method is usually given to help the immune system fight cancer. It helps the immune system recognize abnormal cancer cells and destroy them.



    Although stomach cancer can happen to anyone, it is essential to prevent the risk of developing it. Where risk factors like family history, gender, age, and genetic conditions cannot be changed, certain risk factors like lifestyle, tobacco and alcohol use, chemical exposure, and unhealthy diet lie in our hands. 


    Making healthy lifestyle choices, like eating healthy and clean, avoiding foods that are associated with the risk of cancer, exercising regularly, omitting or limiting smoking, tobacco use, or alcohol consumption, preventing chemical exposure by wearing protective clothing and getting screened for stomach cancer are some effective preventive measures for stomach cancer.  Noticing the symptoms of stomach cancer and not ignoring them for initiating early diagnosis and treatment. 

    Written by
    Arwa. AliakberContent Writer
    Tags :Stomach cancerStomach cancer awarenessStomach cancer awareness monthStomach cancer medicinesstomach cancer medications