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Stomach Cancers

Stomach Cancer Diagram

Stomach Cancers

There are many types of stomach or gastric cancers but it is fairly rare with around 6,000 people in the UK diagnosed each year.

It normally starts with a tumour or ulcer in the inner lining of the stomach and is caused by changes to the cells that produce the stomach juices that help digest foods.

If untreated, it can spread to other organs and the risk increases with age. Men are twice as likely as women to develop the disease. Diets rich in smoked meats, high fats and processed foods create higher risk of getting stomach cancer and there is a hereditary link in one in 50 cases.

Stomach Cancers


Many symptoms of stomach cancers are similar to less serious conditions with early stage signs being persistent indigestion, heartburn, trapped wind, difficulty swallowing and vomiting. The more advanced signs include blood in your stools, a swelling or lump in the stomach, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, anaemia and jaundice.

Around 90% of stomach cancers appear in people aged over 55.


It is easier to treat if diagnosed early and GPs are instructed to check symptoms and examine your stomach for any lumpiness or tenderness and to refer to a specialist for further investigation. A GP should also refer you to a specialist if you have indigestion and weight loss.

You may need a blood test or a gastroscopy and biopsy, using a narrow flexible tube to examine the inside of the stomach, and possibly take a small tissue sample for testing


Treatment will vary depending on your general health and how far advanced the cancer has become.

The three main treatment options are surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. An operation is usually recommended if the cancer has been detected early and the damaged tissue can be removed.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are normally prescribed at a later stage to kill cancer cells and arrest tumour growth. Biological treatments, which stimulate the body’s immune system to fight back, are also available

It is estimated that a cure is possible in 20-30% of cases.

Contact Us Today

To ask a question about stomach cancer or to book an appointment, contact our specialist team available Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm and on Saturday from 9am – 1pm.

Our gastrointestinal specialists team have a dedicated and caring approach and will seek to find you the earliest appointment possible with the correct specialist for your needs. If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP. You can simply refer yourself and book an appointment. If you have medical insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa PPP, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer for authorisation for any treatment and, in most cases, you will require a referral letter from your GP. If you do not have a GP, then we have an in-house private GP practice that you can use.Alternatively we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstance.

Call us on 020 7078 3802 or email us at gi.unit@hje.org.uk

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