Munson Health
Stomach Cancer

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by Kellicker PG

(Gastric Cancer)



If you have any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to stomach cancer. These symptoms may be caused by other conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of these:
  • Indigestion, heartburn
  • Abdominal pain or vague abdominal discomfort
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Stomach bloating or sense of fullness after eating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Bleeding in vomit or stool
  • Stool that has turned black or tarry
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fluid swelling in abdomen
In some cases, there may not be symptoms.


Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. She will also do a physical exam. Diagnostic tests may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Fecal occult blood test —to check for blood in the stool
  • Upper GI series —a series of x-rays of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine)
  • Endoscopy —a test that uses a fiberoptic scope to examine the esophagus (throat), stomach, and upper part of the small intestines
  • Biopsy —removal of a sample of stomach tissue to test for cancer
  • Ultrasound —a test that uses sound waves to examine the stomach
  • CT scan —a type of x-ray that uses a computer to make pictures of structures inside the stomach
  • PET scan —a test makes images that show activity in body tissues


American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute



BC Cancer Agency

Cancer Care Ontario



Cashen AF, Wildes TM. The Washington Manual; Hematology and Oncology Subspeciality Consult. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Wolter Kluwers; 2008.

Gastric cancer prevention. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: . Accessed May 7, 2003.

How is stomach cancer diagnosed? American Cancer Society website. Available at: . Accessed May 21, 2003.

Ménétrier disease. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: . Updated November 2008. Accessed December 14, 2009.

What you need to know about stomach cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: . Accessed December 1, 2009.

4/29/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Zhou Y, Zhuang W, Hu W, Liu GJ, Wu TX, Wu XT. Consumption of large amounts of allium vegetables reduces risk for gastric cancer in a meta-analysis. Gastroenterology. 2011 Apr 4. [Epub ahead of print]


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