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What is Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer (gastric cancer) is cancer that starts in any part of the stomach. Stomach cancer symptoms are different from those of other types of abdominal cavity organ cancers and it is also treated differently. The American Cancer Society estimates approximately 22,400 Americans will be diagnosed with stomach cancer per year. Most of these people are in their 60s and 70s when diagnosed.

Although the incidence of most forms of stomach cancer has been declining, the incidence of gastroesophageal junction cancer (cancer where the esophagus meets the stomach) has been rising over the last 20 years. Researchers are unsure of the reason for this increase, but think that it may be related to eating foods with nitrates.

Types of Stomach Cancer


Most stomach cancers are of a type called adenocarcinoma. This type develops from the cells that form the innermost layer of the stomach, called the mucosa, in cells called epithelial cells.

Rare Cancers

Other less common tumors found in the stomach include:

These three types of cancer are very rare and their treatment and prognosis differ from adenocarcinomas.

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