ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the changes and medical problems that can be a sign of stomach cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.
What are the symptoms and signs of stomach cancer?
People with stomach cancer may experience one or more of the following symptoms or signs. Symptoms are changes that you can feel in your body. Signs are changes in something measured, like taking your blood pressure or doing a lab test. Together, symptoms and signs can help describe a medical problem. Sometimes, people with stomach cancer do not have any of the symptoms and signs described below. Or, the cause of a symptom or sign may be a medical condition that is not cancer.
Stomach cancer is usually not found at an early stage because it often does not cause specific symptoms. Currently, there is no recommended screening for stomach cancer for people before a symptom or sign appears. In general, it is more common for people to be diagnosed with stomach cancer after symptoms and signs appear.
When symptoms do occur, they may be vague and can include those listed below. It is important to remember that these symptoms can also be caused by many other illnesses, such as a stomach virus or an ulcer.
Indigestion or heartburn
Pain or discomfort in the abdomen
Nausea and vomiting, particularly vomiting up solid food shortly after eating
Diarrhea or constipation
Bloating of the stomach after meals
Loss of appetite
Sensation of food getting stuck in the throat while eating
Symptoms of advanced stomach cancer may include:
Weakness and fatigue
Vomiting blood or having blood in the stool
Unexplained weight loss
If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will try to understand what is causing your symptom(s). They may do an exam and order tests to understand the cause of the problem, which is called a diagnosis.
If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. Managing symptoms may also be called "palliative and supportive care," which is not the same as hospice care given at the end of life. This type of care focuses on managing symptoms and supporting people who face serious illnesses, such as cancer. You can receive palliative and supportive care at any time during cancer treatment. Learn more in this guide's section on Coping with Treatment.
Be sure to talk with your health care team about the symptoms you experience, including any new or a change in symptoms.
The next section in this guide is Diagnosis. It explains what tests may be needed to learn more about the cause of the symptoms. Use the menu to choose a different section to read in this guide.