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Gastric Cancer


Gastric cancer is term used to describe cancer that occurs in the stomach. The most common type of stomach cancer occurs within the mucus-producing cells on the inside lining of the stomach (adenocarcinoma). Over time, the cancer may invade more deeply into the stomach wall and may grow through the stomach's outer layer into nearby organs, such as the liver, pancreas, esophagus, or intestine.

It’s important to note that over the decades true gastric cancer has continued to decline. However, cancers of the junction between the esophagus and stomach are increasing. These latter tumors appear to be more similar to esophageal cancers rather than true gastric cancer.

Risk Factors for Gastric Cancer

The exact cause of gastric cancer is unknown. However, factors that may increase an individual’s risk of stomach cancer include:

  • A diet high in smoked, salted and pickled foods
  • A diet low in fruits and vegetables
  • Eating foods contaminated with aflatoxin fungus
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori
  • Long-term stomach inflammation
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Smoking
  • Stomach polyps

Symptoms of Gastric Cancer

Signs and symptoms of gastric cancer may include:

  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling full and/or bloated after eating small amounts of food
  • Heartburn and/or indigestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Persistent nausea and/or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss

Because gastric cancer symptoms are similar to many other gastrointestinal conditions, accurate evaluation is critical to ensure proper treatment. That’s why it’s important to seek care from a healthcare expert experienced in the complex diagnosis and treatment of gastric cancer and other gastrointestinal conditions.


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University of Southern California
Upper G.I. and General Surgery

1450 San Pablo Street
Healthcare Consultation Center 4
Suite 6200
Los Angeles, CA 90033

Phone: (323) 442-6868
Fax: (323) 865-9630

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