Stomach or gastric cancer develops in the inner lining of the stomach. This type of cancer typically grows at a slower rate than other forms, and it is easy to overlook the relatively mild symptoms in the early stages. Stomach cancer produces different symptoms depending on the area of the stomach where it develops. Stomach cancer is considered by a growth of cancerous cells or it starts with the mucus-producing cells within the lining of the stomach. It is very hard to detect this cancer in the earlier stages because it rarely causes any symptoms.
Can have no symptoms, but people may experience:
Gastrointestinal: dark stool from digested blood, indigestion, nausea, or vomiting blood
Whole-body: cancer-related fatigue or loss of appetite
Also common: abdominal fullness, difficulty swallowing, or weight loss.
1. Pain in the Upper Abdomen
Stomach cancer may not present with many symptoms in its earliest stages. When it does, individuals may feel vague abdominal pain and fullness and varying levels of discomfort above the navel. During the later stages of gastric cancer, this can be due to a buildup of fluid in the upper abdomen. This pain may come and go, ranging from dull to severe.
Indigestion can also present itself with this type of cancer. Although it can be a symptom of stomach cancer, in most cases, indigestion is not indicative of a serious condition and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. It is not unusual for people to experience mild indigestion after eating a big meal or eating too fast. However, anyone experiencing repeated indigestion should speak to a doctor.
2. Feeling Sick in General
A person who has stomach cancer may find they become ill more often. The immune system’s focus on fighting cancer leaves the body susceptible to other illnesses and infections. Anyone who is becoming sick more often than previously should schedule an appointment to speak to their doctor, especially if they are experiencing other symptoms as well.
- Loss of appetite: If you find yourself very hungry before lunch, but as you start to eat, you manage to eat only a few bites. In such a case, it is advised that you consult a doctor, immediately.
- Blood in your vomit or stool: Blood in your stool can be a symptom of other diseases. If its stomach cancer, the blood in your stool will look tarry black or maroon, and if it’s in your vomit, it looks like light red and has a coarse texture.
- Unexplained weight loss: If you are losing weight without being on a restricted diet, then there is definitely something to pay attention to. The weight loss could be gradual so ensure you step on a scale once in a while even if you are not dieting.
- Constipation, diarrhea, and bloating: Any growth in your stomach will mess with your bowel movements and makes you feel bloated. Therefore, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor.
- Constant heartburn: If you are suffering from indigestion or heartburn and not getting rid of it, then there might be a possibility that of something having gone wrong in your stomach.
So, if you suspect any of the symptoms outlined above, it’s best to rush to your doctor as soon as possible.
The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and represent the opinions of the authors. The authors are not medical doctors and do not engage directly or indirectly in diagnosing disease, dispensing medical advice, or prescribing the use of any products or services as treatment for sickness or disease. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a qualified medical professional.