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Stomach cancer

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Treatments for stage I stomach cancer

The following are treatment options for stage I stomach cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is the standard treatment for stage I stomach cancer.

Endoscopic mucosal resection

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a very specialized surgery used to treat small (less than 2 cm) early stage stomach cancer like stage IA that has not spread deeply into the inner lining (mucosa) of the stomach. EMR is done using an endoscopeendoscopeA thin, tube-like instrument with a light and lens used to examine or treat organs or structures in the body. placed through the mouth, down the throat and into the stomach.

Limited surgical resection

A limited surgical resection is surgery that removes a section of the stomach wall that contains the tumour along with a healthy margin around the tumour.


A gastrectomy to remove all or part of the stomach is the most common type of surgery to treat stage I cancer.

Lymph node dissection

A lymph node dissection may be done to remove lymph nodes around the stomach for stage I stomach cancer.


Chemotherapy may be offered for stage IB stomach cancer. Chemotherapy may be given after surgery (adjuvant therapy) or both before and after surgery (perioperative chemotherapy). It may also be given over the same time period as radiation (called chemoradiation). The most common combinations of chemotherapy drugs given for stage I stomach cancer are:

  • 5-fluorouracil (Adrucil, 5-FU) and leucovorin (folonic acid)
  • ECX – epirubicin (Pharmorubicin), cisplatin (Platinol AQ) and capecitabine (Xeloda)
  • ECF – epirubicin, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil
  • 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin
  • paclitaxel (Taxol) and carboplatin (Paraplatin)


Radiation therapy may be offered for stage IB stomach cancer along with chemotherapy. The type of radiation therapy used most often is external beam radiation therapy.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for stomach cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.


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