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Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

What you need to know about stomach cancer symptoms

Stomach cancer doesn’t present specific symptoms in early stages. Even when the symptoms are present, they are vague and nonspecific. For example, nausea and weight loss may be observed in the early stages of stomach cancer. These symptoms are also associated with many other conditions. There are no specific symptoms to pinpoint stomach cancer. Due to these reasons, it is important not to neglect any symptoms and consult a doctor for further evaluation and testing.

Depending on the stage and type of the gastric cancer/stomach cancer, the symptoms will vary. If you experience any of the below mentioned symptoms of stomach cancer, you should immediately report to your doctor. If stomach cancer is detected in its early stages, the treatment outcome will be favorable.

Common symptoms of stomach cancer

Presence of blood in stool

Presence of blood in stool is a common symptom of stomach cancer. However, it can also indicate many other conditions such as hemorrhoids or anal fissures.

Blood in stool may not be always visible to the naked eye. A test known as fecal occult blood test or FOBT can detect presence of blood in the stool even when it is present in trace amounts.

Stool in blood is also associated with colon cancer. For this reason, if you observe this symptom, you should not ignore it and report it to your doctor immediately.

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is the most common symptom of gastric cancer. It can range from a mild discomfort to severe pain. Pain and discomfort are usually experienced in the upper abdominal region. Persistent pain, regardless of its location, should never be ignored. Other types of cancers such as pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and bile duct/gallbladder cancer also present with abdominal pain.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are nonspecific symptoms of stomach cancer. If you experience nausea and vomiting persistently, you should contact your doctor for further evaluation. Often, it is an indication of a serious condition. If you observe blood in your vomit, you should see your doctor immediately as it is an indication of damage to the esophageal/gastric lining.

Loss of appetite

Loss of appetite is another nonspecific symptom associated with stomach cancer. It is also observed in many other health conditions.

Abdominal bloating

Abdominal bloating may be observed in stomach cancer, especially after taking meals. Indigestion and heart burn may also be observed.

Changes in bowel habits

Constipation and diarrhea may be observed in stomach cancer. There are many other less serious conditions which present these symptoms. However, it is a good idea to report them to your doctor.


Fatigue that lasts for more than a few days is an indication of an underlying health condition. In the case of stomach cancer, fatigue is experienced due to anemia which occurs due to loss of blood in the stool/vomiting.

Abnormal weight loss

If you experience weight loss without dieting or exercise, you should call your doctor immediately. Abnormal weight loss is observed in many types of cancers and other diseases.

Check out Colorectal Cancer Symptoms.

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