Stomach cancer


This page was reviewed under our medical and editorial policy by

Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science

This page was updated on July 20, 2022.

Stomach cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the United States, with more than 27,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Though stomach cancer is rare, making up 1.5 percent of all cancer diagnoses, certain risk factors, such as diet, smoking and obesity, may increase risk for developing the disease. Stomach may also spread to other parts of the digestive system, such as the esophagus or intestines, or metastasize and form tumors in distant organs, including the lungs and liver.

Stomach cancer requires expert care. Know your options.

At City of Hope, our medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, gastroenterologists and other experts have years of experience treating stomach cancer. Our whole-person care model is also designed to support patients’ nutritional needs, manage their pain and address other side effects throughout their treatment journey.

Explore stomach cancer treatment options at City of Hope in Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix.

Who gets stomach cancer?

Men are twice as likely to get stomach cancer as women. The disease occurs most often in people over the age of 55. People with Type A blood are also at higher risk of stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer is more common in African Americans than in whites.

The disease is also more common in some parts of the world, including Japan, Korea, parts of Eastern Europe and Latin America. People in these areas eat many foods that are preserved by drying, smoking, salting or pickling, placing the individuals at increased risk of stomach cancer.

Kimberly Jensen

Kimberly J.

Stomach Cancer

"I have good days and bad, but I always have a positive attitude knowing that I survived. I often sit outside looking at the stars and enjoying the back porch, not taking my time for granted. I also enjoy spending time with my son and two grandsons, who are the center of my universe. Also, I am expecting a granddaughter in July. I am grateful for every moment."



What causes stomach cancer?

While cancer research has not yet identified the cause of stomach cancer, the risk of developing stomach cancer is known to increase with age. People with a family history of cancers may also be at higher risk.

Common stomach cancer risk factors include:

  • Inherited mutations on breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) or breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2)
  • Inherited mutation E-cadherin/CDH1, a tumor suppressor gene
  • Lynch syndrome, also called hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC)
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), which causes polyps, including stomach polyps
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Diet high in processed foods, smoked foods, salted fish and meat, and/or pickled vegetables
  • Obesity
  • Chemical exposure from working in the coal, metal or rubber industries
  • Helicobacter pylori (H-pylori infection)
  • Chronic gastritis
  • Pernicious anemia, a medical condition linked to a vitamin B12 deficiency, which sometimes produces gastric polyps
  • A medical history that includes the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus that causes “mono” (mononucleosis)

It takes just one call to get expert cancer treatment at City of Hope

At City of Hope, our multidisciplinary team of board-certified medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and gastroenterologists treat all stages of stomach cancer. We recognize that diseases of the GI tract, including stomach cancer, require specialized treatment.

Explore the cards below to learn more about our GI Cancer Centers at a hospital near you. If you need to travel for your care, our travel and accommodations team handles the details of your visit, including helping to coordinate travel and lodging arrangements.

​Supportive care for stomach cancer

At City of Hope, we understand that managing the side effects of stomach cancer and its treatments may be challenging. Your team of cancer experts may suggest supportive care services and therapies intended to support your nutritional needs and manage your pain during and after treatment. Therapies for stomach cancer patients may include:

Explore supportive care