A disease that starts in the cells lining the stomach, also known as gastric cancer. Stomach cancer tends to develop slowly over a long period of time, possibly over several years. The symptoms are not always severe, therefore it can go unnoticed in early stages. Early symptoms may include nausea, loss of appetite, heartburn, and abdominal pain. Later signs and symptoms can include vomiting, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, and blood in the stool. Stomach cancer may spread to other parts of the body, such as: lungs, liver, bones, and lymph nodes.
Stomach cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of all these. The stage can vary at diagnosis and throughout treatment. Staging of stomach cancer uses Tumor, Node, Metastasis (TNM) system, as well as Stage Grouping 0, I, II, III, or IV. Staging systems describe the extent of cancer throughout the body and help doctors determine which treatments to offer. The effectiveness of the treatment may depend upon the stage at diagnosis.