Stomach cancer

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Symptoms of stomach cancer

Stomach cancer may not cause any signs or symptoms in its early stages because the tumour is small. Also, the abdomen and stomach are large structures that are able to expand, so a tumour can grow without causing symptoms. Symptoms often appear once the tumour grows into surrounding tissues and organs. Other health conditions can cause the same symptoms as stomach cancer. See your doctor if you have these symptoms.

The signs or symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • abdominal pain or discomfort (may be vague or mild)
  • weight loss
  • fatigue
  • changes in digestion, including loss of appetite, feeling full after a small meal (early satiety), heartburn (indigestion) or nausea
  • difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing
  • vomiting, with or without blood
  • anemia
  • abdominal bloating, especially after eating
  • blood in the stool
  • jaundice (the skin and whites of the eyes become yellow and urine is dark yellow)
  • buildup of fluid in the abdomen (called ascites)
  • a lump in the abdomen that can be felt during a physical exam
  • a lump on the ovary (Krukenberg tumour)
  • a lump in the pelvis (Blumer shelf), which may be felt during a rectal exam
  • a lump in the area of the belly button, or navel (a swollen lymph node, sometimes called Sister Mary Joseph node)
  • a lump above the left collar bone (1 or more swollen lymph nodes, sometimes called Virchow node)
  • a lump in the left armpit (a swollen lymph node)
  • darkening of the skin on body folds and creases (acanthosis nigricans)
  • wart-like growths on the skin (seborrheic keratoses)


A reduction in the number of healthy red blood cells.