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Stomach Cancer Symptoms

In many cases, symptoms of stomach cancer begin with things such as indigestion, feeling bloated after eating, loss of appetite, and heartburn; however, not everyone with the disease will experience early symptoms. As the disease progresses, symptoms may include blood in the stool, stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, and jaundice.

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer: An Introduction

Stomach cancer usually develops over time. As stomach cancer cells continue to grow, they spread more deeply into the stomach and to surrounding areas. When the cancer spreads (metastasizes) outside of the stomach, it tends to spread to nearby lymph nodes, the liver, the lungs, and other organs. When this occurs, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells as the primary tumor in the stomach.
This eMedTV article uses the term "stomach cancer" to refer to gastric adenocarcinoma (cancer of the glandular tissue in the stomach). This is the most common type of stomach cancer. Other types of stomach cancer include lymphomas (cancers involving the lymphatic system) and sarcomas (cancers of the connective tissue, such as muscle, fat, or blood vessels).
(Click Symptoms of Lymphoma for information about symptoms associated with a less common type of cancer that may develop in the stomach.)

Early Stomach Cancer Symptoms

Not everyone with the disease will experience early stomach cancer symptoms. When early symptoms do appear, they tend to be vague or minor and may include such things as:
  • Indigestion and stomach discomfort
  • A bloated feeling after eating
  • Mild nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heartburn.
Pain is not normally an early symptom of this disease; don't wait to feel pain before seeing a doctor.
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Cancer of the Stomach

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