Stomach cancer, also referred to as gastric cancer, is the sixth most common cancer in Hong Kong and the sixth leading cause of cancer death.2
Stomach cancer can be classified into stages 0 to IV.
There are often no symptoms of stomach cancer during the early stages. However, as the disease progresses symptoms may include:
- Pain and discomfort in the abdomen
- Heartburn or indigestion (dyspepsia)
- Gastrointestinal bleeding, which may appear in vomit or in ‘black’ stool bowel motions
- Frequent vomiting
- Appetite loss
- Rapid weight loss
There are many different tests that are used to diagnose gastric cancer. This may include an upper endoscopy investigation, which looks at the digestive tract and detects any potentially cancerous areas, and a gastric tissue biopsy to analyse and confirm whether cancer is evident. If the cancer is suspected to have spread, CT or PET/CT scan may be undertaken to identify any metastatic cancer in distant areas of the body.
Certain risk factors can play a role in the development of stomach cancer. These include:
- Pre-existing conditions – Including chronic gastritis or stomach polyps
- High alcohol consumption
- Family history – Having one or more family members with stomach cancer increases your risk of developing stomach cancer
- Cancer Council Australia. (2019). Stomach cancer. Retrieved on 19 November 2019 from https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/stomach-cancer.html
- Centre for Health Protection. (2019). Stomach Cancer. Retrieved on 19 November 2019 from https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/healthtopics/content/25/55.html