Stomach Cancer

About Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is the cancer that starts anywhere inside the stomach or the stomach wall. It is also called as gastric cancer. It is the fifth most common cancer in the world with 1 million cases diagnosed in 2018 globally.

Symptoms of stomach cancer include difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), weight loss, persistent indigestion (dyspepsia), feeling full after eating small amounts, sickness and vomiting. Factors which can increase chances of getting stomach cancer include family history, smoking, age, alcohol, diet and overweight.

Once stomach cancer has been diagnosed, doctors will determine the stage of cancer and whether or not it is metastatic; based on which doctors would be able to devise a treatment plan.

Stomach cancer treatment varies depending on the stage of cancer and whether or not the cancer has spread.Treatments include surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, chemoradiotherapy and biological therapy.

To know more about stomach cancer you can refer to our Stomach Cancer Guide


No major professional organisations currently recommend any routine screening of the general public for stomach cancer.

our experts

Dr Dinesh M G

Consultant Surgical Oncologist

Professor Andrea Frilling

Consultant and Professor of Surgery



Surgery: Type of surgery depends on where the cancer is in the stomach and also to some extent on the type of surgery your surgeon prefers. The various types of surgery are:

    • Subtotal Gastrectomy: Is a surgery to remove the cancerous portion of the stomach, this is done through a cut in the tummy (abdomen)
    • Total Gastrectomy: This is a surgery to remove the whole of the stomach, this is done through a cut in in the tummy (abdomen)
    • Thoraco – Abdominal Oesophago – Gastrectomy: This is a surgery to remove the stomach and food pipe through a cut in the abdomen and chest.

Chemotherapy: This is given by administrating drugs intravenously (IV), intra-arterially (IA) or via intra – peritoneal (IP) injections to destroy cancer cells. This treatment can last up to many weeks.

Radiotherapy: This is performed by directing radiation beams at the targeted area, and like chemotherapy this treatment usually requires multiple sessions which are performed over a series of weeks.

Biological Therapies: These are drugs that change the way cells work and help the body control the growth of cancer. Some seek out and destroy cancer cells, whereas others help the body to attach the cancer.

Treatments are often used in combination with each other, particularly is the cancer is advanced and surgery is being performed. Chemotherapy may often be used before surgery to shrink the tumour or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that could not be removed during surgery.

You may experience vomiting, nausea, hair loss, fatigue & body pain during treatment. Please do not hesitate to discuss this further with your doctor, for more information on the management of any symptoms.


  • Most patients require a post – surgical recovery period of up to 4- 6 weeks. Speak to your surgeon to understand the amount of recovery you would need following your treatment.
  • Appropriate rest is also important during this period.
  • If there is pain and discomfort then please speak to your doctor for its management.

length of stay

Hospital Stay:     3-7 days for surgery

Total Stay:           Depending upon treatment the length of stay can wary from 2 weeks to a few months

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