Also referred to as gastric cancer, stomach cancer most often begins in the innermost layer of the stomach where digestive juices are made (the mucosa). While cancer can begin in the other layers, it primarily starts in the mucosa and spreads through the other layers or through lymph nodes. Stomach cancer is usually an adenocarcinoma, which means it begins in the glandular cells of the stomach lining.
Stomach Cancer Risk Factors
The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 21,600 new cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed in the United States annually. There is about a 1 in 116 chance that someone will develop stomach cancer during their lifetime.
Risk factors for stomach cancer include:
- Being male
- Being over the age of 50
- Using tobacco
- Being obese
- Having a family history of stomach cancer
- Having a bacterial stomach infection called Helicobacter pylori
- Having previously undergone stomach surgery
Signs & Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Unexplained weight loss or loss of appetite
- Chronic abdominal pain
- A sense of fullness after only eating a small amount
- Chronic heartburn or indigestion
- Bloating in the abdomen
- Difficulty swallowing
Stomach Cancer Diagnosis & Treatment
There is no routine screening aimed at detecting stomach cancer in individuals who have not exhibited symptoms. Stomach cancer is usually treated with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Stomach Cancer Education, Screenings & Treatment at BayCare
BayCare is proud to offer a variety of cancer services throughout Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg and all of Tampa Bay. Call (855) 314-8346 for a physician referral or find a doctor near you.