Stomach Cancer
Stomach Cancer

Citrus fruits and allium veg help reduce the risk

Stomach Cancer

The number of new Stomach Cancer cases has halved over the past 30 years.

Stomach Cancer (also sometimes called Gastric Cancer) is not overly common in the UK. The number of new Stomach Cancer cases has halved over the past 30 years, which is likely thanks to better diets.

However, men are twice as likely to be affected by Stomach Cancer than women. In most cases, Stomach Cancer grows from a cell in the stomach lining. The Cancer can sometimes spread and invade nearby organs, like the pancreas or liver too. It could also spread up to the oesophagus or down towards the small intestine. Some cells may even break off into the bloodstream and spread to other areas of the body.

5,000 men are diagnosed with Stomach Cancer in the UK every year

70 is the average age of Stomach Cancer diagnosis for men

42% of men survive Stomach Cancer at least 1 year, with 17% surviving 5 years and 13% surviving 10 years

75% drop in Stomach Cancer mortality rates in the UK over the last 40 years


Like most Cancers, the exact cause of Stomach Cancer is unknown. However, there are a number of factors that can increase the chances of you developing Stomach Cancer. Around 78% of Stomach Cancer cases in men are thought to be linked to lifestyle and environmental issues which can include:

  • Smoking
  • A high intake of salt in your diet
  • Age (most cases are found in those aged 55+)
  • If you’ve had part of your stomach removed for any reason

If you want to reduce the risk of Stomach Cancer, you can up your intake of fruit and vegetables, especially citrus fruits and allium veg (such as onions, garlic, shallots, leeks, chives etc.).


Early symptoms of Stomach Cancer can be hard to spot and are easy to mistake for other conditions. But if you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms for more than a couple of weeks, get yourself down to a doctor:

  • Indigestion and / or heartburn
  • Persistent stomach ache
  • Feeling more full than usual after meals
  • Blood in your stools, or black stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss

These symptoms can often be similar to a number of other, less serious conditions which means that Stomach Cancer can often already be quite advanced by the time it’s diagnosed. Because of this, it’s important to get any possible symptoms of Stomach Cancer checked out as soon as possible.


When you visit your doctor they will give you a blood test and may arrange for you to have one (or both) of the following tests:

  • An endoscopy: A thin tube passed down your throat into your stomach let’s the doctor examine your stomach using the light and camera at the end. You won’t be able to eat or drink for 4 – 8 hours before the procedure. You get a sedative before to make you feel drowsy and relaxed – the endoscopy itself should take about 15 minutes. If any potentially cancerous tissue is found, a sample will be taken for testing (this is known as a biopsy).
  • A barium meal X-ray: This involves drinking a less than delicious white, chalky liquid (which contains the barium) so your stomach will show up on the X-ray. You won’t be able to eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours before the procedure, and the procedure itself will take about 15 minutes to perform.

Other Cancer Types: