Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is cancer that starts in any part of the stomach.
Stomach cancer usually occurs first in the tissues that line the stomach. Precancerous changes in the stomach lining typically begin years before stomach cancer develops, though these changes rarely produce symptoms. In fact, stomach cancer often doesn’t exhibit symptoms until it is more advanced; only about 10 to 20 percent of stomach cancers in the United States are detected in their earliest stages.
The exact cause of stomach cancer is unknown but may be related to risk factors that include acid reflux, smoking and bacterial infection.
Stomach cancer develops most often in people over the age of 65 and is more common in men than in women. It also is much more common in certain regions of Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Central and South America than in the United States, possibly due to lifestyle and environmental factors.
The Gastrointestinal Oncology Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center, many of whom conduct translational cancer research at the John Wayne Cancer Institute, are here to assist you during your diagnosis and treatment with the goal of providing effective treatment that extends survival rates without impairing your quality of life.