There are approximately 28,000 new cases of stomach cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S.r, Many patients who suffer from stomach cancer were diagnosed after the cancer had progressed to a more advanced stage and spread to other parts of their body, making treatment much more difficult. This is due to the symptoms of stomach cancer being very subtle and difficult to identify, often sharing those symptoms with many less serious stomach conditions.
Below, we have outlined the six most common early signs of stomach cancer. If you experience any of the symptoms below, it does not necessarily mean that you have early stages of stomach cancer, but it is recommended that you schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to examine the cause of the symptoms to determine if it is an early sign of stomach cancer or if you are at risk of developing it.
Little Or No Appetite
If you can only eat a few bites of your meal before you feel full, or if you don’t feel hungry at all, it could be an early sign of stomach cancer. Other factors can cause this feeling, however, in cases where the feeling of fullness happens often and doesn’t go away, it’s recommended that you schedule an appointment with your physician.
Persistent Stomach Pain
Pain related to stomach cancer is not excruciating, but instead more of a dull pain that originates around the center of the stomach. A common description of stomach cancer pain is a subtle gnawing feeling that does not go away. If you are experiencing chronic stomach pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Blood In Vomit Or Stool
Blood in our stool or vomit is a common symptom of other diseases such as Crohn's disease or colitis, however for those with developing stomach cancer, the blood will have a specific color and texture. If the blood appears in feces, it will have a dark maroon or black color. If the blood appears in vomit, it will have a bright red coloration with a rough, grain-like texture that is visually similar to coffee grounds.
Regardless of the color or texture, any sign of blood in the stool or feces should be examined by a doctor to determine the cause and necessary treatment.
Issues With Bowel Movements Or Bloating Feeling
Early stages of stomach cancer will start to affect your body’s natural processes, causing issues with your bowel movements such as constipation and diarrhea or giving you a feeling of bloatedness. It is possible for these symptoms to be caused by less serious stomach issues, but if they persist for long periods of time, it could be a sign of a more dangerous condition like stomach cancer.
Sudden & Unexplained Weight Loss
If you experience a significant drop in your weight without exercise or change in your diet, it can be a sign of stomach cancer. The loss of weight associated with early stages of stomach cancer can typically happen over the course of a few months. While it is possible for the weight loss to have been triggered by other conditions, rapid fluctuation or drop in weight should be examined by a doctor.
Chronic Heartburn & Indigestion
Heartburn and indigestion are typically very minor symptoms caused by a variety of less serious conditions, but if the symptoms do not go away, it could be a sign of stomach cancer. It’s recommended that you consult with a doctor to discover the source of the heartburn, and they will run any tests to screen for cancer if necessary.
Contact Your Local Cancer Treatment Center
For any questions about the early signs of stomach cancer, or if you want more information about the treatments available for stomach cancer, just contact Southeast Radiation Oncology Center. We provide patients with professional radiation treatment for a variety of cancers, including stomach cancer, out of our treatment center located in Juneau, AK.