Gastric cancer, also called stomach cancer, is a malignant tumor arising from the lining of the stomach. Though there has been a significant decrease in the number of people diagnosed with stomach cancer in the past 60 years, worldwide it is the fourth most common cause of cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
Stomach cancers tend to develop slowly over many years. Before a true cancer develops, pre-cancerous changes often occur in the lining of the stomach. These early changes rarely cause symptoms and therefore can go undetected.
Stomach cancer often may be cured if it is found and treated at an early stage. Unfortunately, the outlook is poor if the cancer is already at an advanced stage when discovered.
The following information is reproduced with permission from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) booklet entitled, “What You Need to Know About Stomach Cancer”.