Stomach cancer usually begins when cancer cells form in the inner lining (mucus-producing cells) of your stomach. These cells can further grow slowly over many years and form a tumor.

Causes of Stomach Cancer

It is not yet clear what makes cancer cells begin growing in the stomach. But a few factors that can increase the risk of stomach cancer are;

  • Infection due to ulcer-causing bacteria, H.pylori.
  • Gastritis or Inflammation in gut
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Polyps or abnormal growths in stomach

Other risk factors that can also raise the cancer risk include:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Smoking
  • Excessive intake of smoked, pickled, or salty foods
  • Previous history of stomach surgery for ulcer
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • Type-A blood
  • Genetic cause
  • Workers of coal, metal, timber, or rubber industries
  • Exposure to asbestos


Beginning of stomach cancer may cause:

  • Fullness or bloating after meals
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Mild nausea
  • Loss of appetite

While, in the later stage when stomach tumors grow, a patient may experience more serious symptoms, such as:

  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in your stool
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Loss of weight
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Yellowish eyes or skin
  • Swelling in the stomach
  • Weakness or tired feeling


A specialist doctor will do a physical exam, also ask about your medical history to confirm any genetic or risk factors for stomach cancer. Thereafter, some tests can be advised to diagnose cancer in the patient’s body, including:

  • Blood tests
  • Upper endoscopy: It is performed using a thin, flexible tube with a small camera down inside the throat to look into the stomach.
  • Upper GI test: Patient is advised to drink a chalky liquid of barium. This fluid forms a layer on stomach lining to make it clearly visible on X-rays.
  • CT scan: This powerful X-ray procedure is performed to take the detailed pictures of the inside of the stomach.
  • Biopsy: A small tissue sample from the stomach is examined under a microscope for signs of cancer cells. A Biopsy can be done during an endoscopy.


Many treatment options are available to fight stomach cancer. A suitable option is chosen by the cancer specialist as per life and expansion of tumor in the patient’s body, also known as the stage of cancer.

Surgery: Surgery is performed to remove a portion of the stomach or other nearby tissues infected by cancer cells. This will stop cancer from spreading to other regions of your body. If stage IV or advanced stage of cancer, the whole of the stomach may be removed by the surgeon.

Sometimes tumors can stop the passage of food from moving in and out of the stomach. In this situation, surgery is performed to put in a stent that keeps the pathways open.

Chemotherapy: Various drugs can kill and stop the growth of cancer cells. These drugs are given to cancer patient either orally as pills or through an Intravenous injection or drip at a clinic. A Chemo may take several weeks and causes various side effects. A specialist doctor can help a patient in finding ways to feel better during treatment.

Radiation: High-energy rays or beam of particles are used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. This procedure is performed by a specialist by using X-ray or another machine to beam radiation at the spot of tumor location.

Chemoradiation: Here, both chemotherapy and radiation techniques are used to shrink tumor before surgery.

Targeted Drugs: Unlike Radiation and Chemotherapy drugs, these new-age drugs can fight only against the cancer cells and does not cause any harm to healthy cells. Therefore, targeted drug therapies have fewer side effects than other cancer treatments.