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Stomach Cancer Symptoms

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Updated April 02, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

What You Need to Know About Stomach Cancer Symptoms:

Stomach cancer often does not have symptoms in the early stages, or they can be vague and non-specific -- such as nausea or weight loss. Also, there is no single symptom that exactly pinpoints stomach cancer; therefore, further evaluation and testing is required for a diagnosis.

Symptoms vary and depend on how advanced the disease and what type of gastric cancer they have. If you are experiencing the symptoms of stomach cancer, please see your doctor. With most diseases, a timely diagnosis leads to a better treatment outcome.

1. Blood in the Stool:

Blood in the stool is a symptom of stomach cancer. Seeing blood after wiping with toilet tissue, in the toilet, or on stools can be alarming, but is no cause for panic. Blood in the stool can be common with less serious conditions, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

Blood in the stool is not always visible to the eye. Your stool can contain trace amounts of blood that only a test, such as the fecal occult blood test, can reveal.

This stomach cancer symptom can also be related to other types of cancer, such as colon cancer.

2. Abdominal Pain and Discomfort:

Abdominal pain is one of the most common symptoms and is usually what prompts people to seek medical attention. Abdominal pain can range from persistent mild discomfort to severe pain. Pain and discomfort generally occurs in the upper abdomen area. Persistent abdominal pain, regardless of where it occurs, needs to be evaluated by your doctor.

Other types of cancers that can cause abdominal pain include pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, bile duct and gallbladder cancer.

3. Peristent Nausea and/or Vomiting:

Nausea and vomiting are very non-specific symptoms that can be common among people with stomach cancer. Persistent nausea and/or vomiting needs to be checked by your doctor. It can indicate a serious health problem, and can cause damage to the lining of your esophagus. If you are vomiting blood, it is important to see your doctor right away.

4. Loss of Appetite:

Not feeling like eating for a day or two can be normal, but anything longer should really be reported to your doctor. Again, loss of appetite is a very vague stomach cancer symptom and is related to many health conditions, not just stomach cancer.

5. Abdominal Bloating:

Abdominal bloating is may also occur with stomach cancer, especially after meals. Indigestion and heartburn are also symptoms related to the disease.

6. Changes in Bowel Habits:

Changes in bowel habits related to stomach cancer include constipation and/or diarrhea. This is a very non-specific symptom of stomach cancer, meaning it is not exclusive to the disease. Many other less serious conditions can cause constipation and diarrhea.

7. Feeling Excessively Tired:

Fatigue that lasts more than a few days can indicate a medical problem. With stomach cancer, fatigue is often related to anemia due to blood loss in the stool or from vomiting.

8. Losing Weight Without Trying:

Most of us would welcome weight loss without dieting, but it really is a health concern that needs to be brought to your doctor's attention. If you have lost about 5 percent of your normal body weight in the course of six months or less, and haven't been dieting or exercising, call your doctor. Unintentional weight loss can be the result of many conditions, including cancer.

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  2. Health
  3. Cancer
  4. Types of Cancer N-Z
  5. Stomach Cancer (Gastric)
  6. Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

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