Stomach cancer symptoms, risk factors, and FAQs

Symptoms

See your provider if you experience any of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fatigue and stomach pain
  • Feeling bloated after eating, or feeling full after eating small amounts
  • Severe, persistent heartburn or indigestion
  • Unexplained, persistent nausea and/or vomiting
  • Unintentional weight loss

Risk factors

Factors that increase your risk of stomach cancer include:

  • A diet high in salty and smoked foods, and low in fruits and vegetables
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • H. pylori infection
  • Long-term stomach inflammation
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Smoking
  • Stomach polyps

Questions and answers (FAQs)

How do I eat after stomach cancer surgery?

Your cancer multidisciplinary team will include a nutritionist, who will set up your new diet as part of your treatment plan. Your diet will depend on the type of surgery you had. For the most part, you diet will be similar to what it was before surgery, but you will have to make some changes in what you eat and how you eat. Many patients find it’s best to eat in small quantities throughout the day, especially after a total gastrectomy.

Why is stomach cancer typically not diagnosed early?

Often stomach cancer does not present with any symptoms in the early stages. In addition, initial symptoms are often confused with other stomach conditions.

Which bacteria is linked to stomach cancer?

H. pylori. About half the population in the U.S. has some sort of H. pylori infection, but the vast majority will not develop stomach cancer from it.