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Stomach Cancer: A Guide for Patients


Guides for Patients are designed to assist patients, their relatives and caregivers to better understand the nature of different types of cancer and evaluate the best available treatment choices.

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer (also known as gastric cancer) is a type of cancer that develops in the stomach, which is part of the digestive system. Stomach cancer can develop in any part of the stomach, but most begin in the gland cells of the inner stomach lining. These stomach cancers are called adenocarcinomas. This guide is focused on adenocarcinomas.

Beyond a definition of stomach cancer, in this guide for patients you will find answers to questions such as: 

  • What are the symptoms of stomach cancer?
  • How common is stomach cancer?
  • What causes stomach cancer?
  • How is stomach cancer diagnosed?
  • How will my treatment be determined?
  • What are the treatment options for stomach cancer?
  • Clinical trials
  • Additional interventions
  • What are the possible side effects of treatment?
  • What happens next?
  • Support groups

This guide has been prepared to help you, your friends, family and caregivers, better understand stomach cancer and its treatment. The medical information described in this document is based on ESMO clinical practice guidelines for the management of gastric cancer. We recommend that you ask your doctor about the tests and types of treatments available in your country for your type and stage of stomach cancer.

Published in 2023.

This Patient Guide was presented during the Patient Guides event entitled 'Let's talk about oesophageal and stomach cancers' on 21 October during the ESMO 2023 Congress in Madrid.

To enquire about permission to translate or support the distribution (in English or in a translated version) of the Patient Guides series, please send an e-mail to patient_guides@esmo.org

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