Cancer of the stomach (also known as gastric cancer) was once the leading cause of death in the United States, but it is now uncommon. About 25,000 new cases of stomach cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. 

Stomach cancer typically develops slowly over many years, starting with pre-cancerous changes in the stomach lining. Because these early changes rarely cause symptoms, they often go undetected.  Stomach cancer is typically diagnosed when signs and symptoms of the disease, such as stomach pain, unexplained weight loss, poor appetite, nausea or vomiting, swelling of the abdomen or indigestion, become more apparent and require a discussion with a doctor.

What is Stomach Cancer?
Adenocarcinoma is by far the most common type of stomach cancer. It develops in the innermost layer of the stomach’s lining and spreads through the outer two layers. Other less common types include lymphoma, gastric sarcoma (also known as gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or GIST) and carcinoid tumors.

Once diagnosed, stomach cancer can be difficult to treat because it is likely to be advanced or to have spread (metastasized).  Stomach cancers can grow through the wall of the stomach and invade nearby organs, or they can spread to lymph nodes or travel through the bloodstream to other areas of the body such as the liver, bones, lungs and ovaries.

How Can Houston Methodist Help?
Cancer specialists at Houston Methodist use a multidisciplinary approach to screen, diagnose, and treat patients with stomach cancer. Patient care is coordinated across the continuum of the disease process in a compassionate, supportive environment for you and your family.

Our continued commitment to research enables us to improve present and future cancer care through our cancer related clinical trials.


Our physicians specialize in managing stomach cancer at the following convenient Houston Methodist Cancer Center locations.