Know the Stealthy Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is a rare form of cancer, but its symptoms are often ignored or overlooked. Stomach cancer grows in the layers of the stomach, often from the innermost of five layers known as the mucosa.

Like many other cancers that occur in the abdomen, symptoms can too often be overlooked and dismissed as another issue. It is important to pay attention to any combination of signs, especially if you’re at higher risk or have a family history of gastric cancer.

Risk Factors

Risk factors include: those who are 60 and older, a history of H.pylori (Helicobacter pylori) bacterial infection, obese or overweight, highly processed diet with high salt, alcohol use, tobacco use, some types of stomach polyps and a hereditary gene mutation. You can reduce your risk of stomach cancer by making lifestyle changes especially by adding solid nutrition and avoiding drug or alcohol use.

Signs and Symptoms

If you’re at risk for stomach cancer, take note of signs or symptoms and discuss them with your doctor. According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, these can include:

  • unintended weight loss and lack of appetite
  • pain in the area of the stomach (abdominal pain)
  • vague discomfort in the abdomen, often above the navel
  • a sense of fullness just below the chest bone after eating a small meal
  • heartburn, indigestion or ulcer-type symptoms
  • nausea
  • vomiting, with or without blood
  • swelling of the abdomen

Discuss stomach cancer questions or concerns with your doctor.

Talk to your doctor or find a primary care physician. Physicians at Memorial Care are accepting new patients.

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