Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

The early symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to the symptoms of some common stomach conditions. They include:

  • heartburn or indigestion that doesn’t go away
  • burping a lot
  • having no appetite
  • feeling full after eating only a small amount
  • losing weight.

Other possible symptoms are:

  • pain or swelling in the upper tummy area
  • feeling or being sick
  • having difficulty swallowing
  • blood in your stools (bowel motions) or black stools
  • feeling tired or breathless (due to anaemia, which is a reduced number of red blood cells).

These symptoms can be due to other conditions. But it’s important to get them checked. Your doctor can arrange tests if necessary. If you are over 55 and suddenly develop indigestion that doesn’t go away, you should always have an endoscopy.

Back to Understanding stomach cancer

What is cancer?

There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment.

The stomach

The stomach stores food and breaks it down so our bodies can absorb the nutrients we need for energy.

The lymphatic system

The lymphatic system protects the body from infection and includes lymph nodes (glands). There are lymph nodes near the stomach.

Types of stomach cancer

The most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma. We also have information on less common cancers of the stomach.