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Stomach (Gastric) Cancer

Quick Facts

Each year in the United States, about 13,000 men and 8,000 women are diagnosed with stomach cancer. Most are over 70 years old. Risk factors include Helicobacter pylori infection, long-term inflammation of the stomach, smoking, family history of stomach cancer, poor diet, lack of physical activity and/or obesity.

Definition

Cancer that forms in tissues lining the stomach.

Stage 0: The tumor is found only in the inner layer of the stomach. Stage 0 is also called carcinoma in situ.

Stage I: The tumor has invaded only the submucosa. Cancer cells may be found in up to 6 lymph nodes; or, the tumor has invaded the muscle layer or subserosa. Cancer cells have not spread to lymph nodes or other organs.

Stage II: The tumor has invaded only the submucosa. Cancer cells have spread to 7 to 15 lymph nodes; or, the tumor has invaded the muscle layer or subserosa. Cancer cells have spread to 1 to 6 lymph nodes; or, the tumor has penetrated the outer layer of the stomach. Cancer cells have not spread to lymph nodes or other organs.

Stage III: The tumor has invaded the muscle layer or subserosa. Cancer cells have spread to 7 to 15 lymph nodes; or, the tumor has penetrated the outer layer. Cancer cells have spread to 1 to 15 lymph nodes; or, the tumor has invaded nearby organs, such as the liver, colon, or spleen. Cancer cells have not spread to lymph nodes or to distant organs.

Stage IV: Cancer cells have spread to more than 15 lymph nodes; or, the tumor has invaded nearby organs and at least 1 lymph node; or, cancer cells have spread to distant organs.

Specialized Physicians:
Atrayee Basu Mallick, MD
Avnish Bhatia, MD
Christina Brus, MD
Andrew E. Chapman, DO
Nancy L. Lewis, MD *
Susan J. Littman, MD *
Edith P. Mitchell, MD, FACP *
Madhaven Pillai, MD *
Michael J. Ramirez, MD
Lewis J. Rose, MD, FACP
Allison Zibelli, MD, FACP

*Practice Focus: Gastrointestinal Oncology

For further information contact:
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
www.jeffersonhospital.org/cancer

Treatment

Treatment for stomach cancer may involve surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy. Patients typically receive more than one type of treatment. For example, chemotherapy may be given before or after surgery. It's often given at the same time as radiation therapy.

Reference: National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/stomach