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What Are Symptoms of Stomach Cancer?

Indigestion is a common symptom of stomach cancer.
Heartburn is a symptom of stomach cancer.
Excessive belching might be a sign of stomach cancer.
An individual with stomach cancer may experience a lack of appetite.
A burning sensation in the abdomen can by a symptom of stomach cancer.
Article Details
  • Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 16 August 2014
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Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, can be difficult to identify. This is particularly true when it is in its early stages, during which there usually are no symptoms. In addition, most people do not pay much attention to its symptoms because they are so mild. For these reasons, it often spreads significantly before it is identified.

There are three primary symptoms of stomach cancer: indigestion, loss of appetite, and heartburn. These symptoms should not be ignored, as this condition is generally curable when caught in its early stages.

A person who experiences indigestion due to stomach cancer may feel a burning sensation in his or her upper abdomen or stomach. He or she may also experience excessive gas and belching or may become nauseated and begin vomiting. The person may also feel general abdominal pain, have a growling stomach, or develop an acidic taste in the mouth. A person experiencing indigestion every day should see a doctor in order to be tested.

A person with stomach cancer may also experience a lack of appetite, which causes him or her to have a full sensation despite eating only very little. In addition, the person may feel heartburn, which is a burning sensation that occurs deep within the chest.

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Another symptom of this type of cacner is blood in the stool. Often, this is only identified after a fecal occult blood test, which is a test of the stool performed by the doctor or the lab. It may, however, be identified by the person before seeing a doctor and may present itself as a black or tarry appearance in the stool. Typically, blood in the stool is a sign that the cancer has already spread.

Symptoms of stomach cancer in its more advanced stages include unexplained weight loss, blood in the vomit, and pain after eating. A person may also bloat after eating, develop jaundice, or experience an overall feeling of fatigue or weakness.

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Discuss this Article

turquoise
Post 7

@anon28127-- It can be a stomach cancer symptom but I don't think it's a good idea to try to diagnose yourself.

The symptoms associated with stomach cancer are also seen in many other ailments. Only a doctor can determine if there is cancer and that too after many diagnostic testing and a biopsy.

This article is beneficial in that people might realize their symptoms and seek treatment sooner. But we don't want to be going around and diagnosing ourselves simply going by symptoms we think we may have.

SarahGen
Post 6

@ZipLine-- No one can say exactly, but usually individuals who have this cancer experience sudden weight loss. My friend who had stomach cancer had lost about fifty pounds in a few months. It can change from person to person though, and keep in mind that this symptom is not observed until the late stages.

ZipLine
Post 5

How much weight loss is usually seen with gastric/ stomach cancer?

anon310344
Post 4

I have all of those symptoms. I'm going to make a doctor's appointment for tomorrow. Better to be safe than sorry, right?

andee
Post 3

It seems that many cancers have the same early symptoms. Colon cancer and ovarian cancer both run in my family, so I always try to keep updated on what early warning signs can be.

Both stomach and ovarian cancers can be hard to detect because many times there are no symptoms, or the symptoms can easily be passed off as something minor.

I try to follow the advice, that if these symptoms are new to you and do not go away, you need to seek out a doctors opinion.

honeybees
Post 2

It seems like heartburn is a very common problem. There are so many over the counter medications available for it that used to be prescription only. It sounds like some early stomach cancer signs are similar to heartburn symptoms.

In a situation like that, it seems the best thing would be to have a doctor look at you so you know for sure what you are dealing with. It can be pretty easy to treat heartburn by making changes in your diet and taking some medications for a time, if necessary. Stomach cancer would be something entirely different, and you would need to get proper treatment as soon as possible.

anon28127
Post 1

Can a burning sensation in the upper stomach be a symptom of stomach cancer?

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