Stomach Tumours- Types- Symptoms- Prevention

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What are stomach tumours?

A stomach tumour is caused when the stomach cell starts to grow and multiply at an uncontrolled rate. These tumours start to grow from the stomach’s inner lining and then to the stomach walls.

The stomach tumours may be cancerous or benign, yet they will require proper diagnosis and treatment. If left untreated, the stomach tumour can be life-threatening.

Stomach tumours can be treated effectively, and the severity of the symptoms can be reduced if diagnosed early.

Stomach tumour is also called as gastric cancer. These cancers, most of the time, originate from the gastroesophageal junction. Cancer becomes a solid mass if ignored and starts to spread throughout the stomach.


There are types of stomach tumours, and they are explained below.


The adenocarcinoma develops in the inner lining of the stomach. If a person develops a tumour most of the time, it can be an adenocarcinoma. It is the most common type of tumour.

They mostly affect the glands that line the stomach cells. When the glandular cells grow out of control, they are called tumours.

The adenocarcinoma can spread to other parts like the liver, bone marrow, lungs and lymph nodes.

Adenocarcinoma can be formed due to certain reasons like smoking tobacco, exposure to toxins and radiation therapy.

In most cases, adenocarcinoma can be cured, but it depends on the stage and location of the cancer. The survival rates are also high if diagnosed and treated early.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumours (GISTs)

The gastrointestinal stromal tumour affects the digestive tract. The tumour mostly affects the small intestine and the stomach.

Gastrointestinal stromal tumours affect the nerve cells of the digestive system. They mostly affect the cells that line the digestive system. In most cases, they do not cause any symptoms at first.

It exhibits symptoms as the tumour progresses. Some of the common symptoms are listed below.

Neuroendocrine tumours (including carcinoids)

Neuroendocrine tumours are rare, and they can affect any part of the body. Neuroendocrine cells are responsible for producing hormone cells.

The tumours affect these cells. Neuroendocrine tumours grow at a paced rate. There are no prominent symptoms of neuroendocrine tumours. Treatment depends on the type of the tumour and its spread.

Carcinoids are slow-growing tumours and can affect any part of the body. Carcinoids are a subset of neuroendocrine tumours.

They usually affect the lungs, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum. The survival rate of carcinoids ranges from 37–80%.


The lymphatic system contains lymph nodes, thymus, spleen and bone marrow. The cancer that affects the lymphatic system is called lymphomas.

The two subtypes of lymphomas are,

Lymphoma can be treated with immunotherapy, chemotherapy and a combination of both. However, the treatment depends on the type of the tumour.


The common symptoms of stomach tumours are listed below. However, the symptoms of stomach tumours differ from one person to another depending on their stage.

Difficulty swallowing

A person affected by a stomach tumour will have difficulty swallowing. They will chew the food slowly and then swallow it. They might also experience a cough while eating. Sometimes, the food they eat might get stuck as a ball in the throat.

Feeling bloated after eating

The bloating feel is due to the tumour. The tumour might cause fluid build-up in the stomach and cause a feeling of bloating.

Feeling full after eating small amounts of food

A stomach tumour causes a person to eat less. The tumours cause fluid build-up in the stomach, which causes a feeling of fullness after consuming meals.


Heartburn can be due to the presence of stomach tumours. Heartburn can be caused due to indigestion.


Indigestion can be caused due stomach tumours. The cells start to multiply indefinitely and which slows the process of digestion and causes indigestion.


The symptoms of stomach tumours may differ, and nausea can be the most common symptom of people affected with a stomach tumour.

Stomach pain

Abdominal pain or stomach pain can be a common symptom of stomach tumours.

Unintentional weight loss

A stomach tumour can cause loss of appetite. So, a person can lose weight.


Vomiting can be an early symptom of a stomach tumour.

Loss of appetite

A stomach tumour can cause loss of appetite. The tumours release certain hormones that can change the body’s hunger.


The tumour in the stomach can be felt as a solid mass. A doctor can feel the solid mass while examining the patient. If a person has a stomach tumour, they will feel the feeling of swollen stomach accompanied by pain.

The stomach tumour requires a few sets of physical examinations and confirmatory tests before confirming the presence of tumours.

Upper endoscopy

Upper endoscopy is the common diagnostic method for stomach tumours. The procedure for diagnosis involves a tiny camera with a thin tube will be sent through the mouth till it reaches the stomach.

With the help of the camera, the doctor will be able to view the stomach tumour. A small instrument will also be sent through the mouth to collect the sample of the lump.

The sample will be analysed in the lab, and then the stage of cancer will be finalised. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment will be provided.

Endoscopic ultrasound

An endoscopic ultrasound device consist of a thin, long, flexible tube that will be sent through the mouth to analyse the stomach and other organs surrounding the stomach.

The device uses sound waves to create an image of the stomach and the affected area. High-frequency sound waves will be used to produce a detailed image of the stomach and the tumour.

The endoscopic tube will also have an instrument to collect the sample of the tissue and will be examined in the lab.

Radiologic tests

If a diagnostic procedure uses radiation to diagnose the presence of cancer or tumour, it is called a radiological test.

The radiological tests include CT scan, MRI test and PET scan. The CT scan gives a proper image of the stomach and cancer. The CT scan can also detect the early presence of the tumours.

The MRI test produces an image of the stomach with the help of magnetic and radio waves.  The MRI enhances the visibility of the tumour.

PET scan is positron emission tomography. The test helps to detect the early stages of cancers and brain disorders. The PET scan consists of a radiotracer and a scanner to detect the presence of cancer.

A radiotracer will be injected through the mouth, and with the help of a scanner, the diseased organ will be diagnosed. The organ that absorbs a large amount of radiotracer indicates a significant health problem.

Blood tests

A blood test will be used to detect anaemia. If there is a low blood count, it can indicate cancer. It also indicates that there is bleeding in the stomach.


Laparoscopy is an invasive method. It is a surgical method and consists of a small camera made of fibre-optic. A small incision will be made to view cancer or the tumour clearly.


The treatment of stomach tumours depends on the stage of tumour—Stage 0 to Stage 5. The stages determine the spread of cancer and the affected part. Depending on the stage of cancer, treatment will be provided.


Chemotherapy is primarily used for tumours that have spread to other parts. It is also given for tumour cells that do not require surgery.

The chemotherapy shrinks the tumours and kills them. Sometimes, chemotherapy will also be prescribed after surgery to kill the cells that cannot be removed by surgery.

Chemotherapy prevents the growth of tumour cells from growing again. Chemotherapy also reduces the severity of the tumours and increases the life span of people.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to destroy cancer cells. It targets the cancer cells and kills them. Radiation therapy alone will not be effective. It can be given along with chemotherapy or after surgery. Radiation therapy also helps alleviate the symptoms.


When the tumour has spread to other parts, and the tumour cannot be controlled with chemotherapy or radiation therapy, surgery will be prescribed by your doctor.

A partial gastrectomy is a procedure that will be used to remove a part of the stomach. This will help to control the spread and also removes the affected part.


Immunotherapy is used to enhance the affected person’s immune system to effectively identify the cancer cells and kill them. The immune therapy boosts the immune system and enhances the immune response against cancerous cells.

There are various types of immune therapy— targeted antibodies, adoptive cell transfer, cytokines, cancer vaccines and adjuvants.

Immunotherapy is also called as biological therapy. The therapy is performed by removing a cell from the biological organism, altering it in the lab, and injecting it again into the affected human.

Immunotherapy is given to patients to improve their lifespan, along with other treatments like chemotherapy.

According to a research paper published in the American Journal of Managed Care, stated that immunotherapy reduced the risk of death by 29%.

Immunotherapy treatments are commonly used in combination with other treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Palliative care

Palliative care is a personalised treatment for people with cancer. Palliative care is administered with the cancer treatment.

Palliative care improves the person’s quality of life and alleviates the symptoms. A team of palliative care will be assigned to patients depending on their needs.

Targeted drug therapy

Targeted therapy is a cancer treatment that targets the cells which control the growth of cells. The targeted therapies primarily use small molecules or monoclonal antibodies. So these small molecule drugs can easily target cancer cells.

The monoclonal antibodies directly interfere with the cancerous cells and stop their growth. After stopping their growth, they will cause self-destruction of the cancer cells. Other types of monoclonal antibodies carry toxins that can kill the cancer cells.

The targeted therapy works by

  • Helping the immune system to destroy the cancer cells.
  • Interrupts the signals that help the cancer cells to grow.
  • Enhances the ability of cell-killing substances that are specific for cancer cells.
  • Causes death to cancer cells and
  • Inhibits the formation of hormones that helps the growth of cancer cells.


Stomach tumours can be prevented by following certain habits.

Avoid smoking and using tobacco products

The common cause of tumours can be the use of tobacco products; if you have the habit of the smoking and tobacco products, quit it immediately. Consuming tobacco can be harmful to health and increases the risk factor of tumours.

Maintain a healthy weight

Weight also plays a major role in tumours. Include fruits and vegetables in your diet and cut down the empty calories. The antioxidant-rich foods will help prevent the growth of tumours and promotes gut health.

Eating a balanced diet

The foods we eat decide our health conditions and illnesses. Choose nutrient-rich foods over fried foods. Avoid consuming salty and sugary foods. They only give empty calories and increase the glucose levels in the blood.

Limit your alcohol intake

Alcohol consumption can be reduced and can limit alcohol to two glasses per week.

Risk factor

The risk factors for stomach tumours are discussed below.

Risk Factors for Stomach Tumour

Gastroesophageal reflux disease

The acids present in the stomach tend to flow back to the oesophagus and the stomach. This leads to gastroesophageal reflux disease. If left untreated, it can cause tumours.


Obesity is a major cause of tumours. It is one of the major risk factors for many types of cancers.

A diet high in salty and smoked foods

Consuming significantly high levels of salty and smoked foods increases the risk of gastric cancers.

A diet low in fruits and vegetables

Low consumption of fruits and vegetables can reduce the antioxidant levels in the body. This can lead to cancer.

Family history of stomach cancer

A family history of stomach cancer can increase the risk of developing cancer.

Infection with Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted from one person to another through blood, saliva and vomit.

Helicobacter pylori infection can cause inflammation of the stomach. Chronic inflammation can significantly increase the risk of gastric cancer and ulcers.

According to a paper published in NCBI, it stated that gastric cancer due to Helicobacter pylori is the second leading cause of death.

Long-term stomach inflammation (gastritis)

Chronic stomach inflammation or gastritis can lead to significant complications if left untreated. Gastritis can cause bloating and reduces appetite.

It can also cause ulcers and increases the risk of stomach tumours. However, in most cases, gastritis can be treated.


Smoking can cause stomach tumours, and according to the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, smoking increases the risk of stomach tumours to about 25%.

Smoking increases the risk of stomach tumours and also decreases the body’s ability to fight against tumour growth.

Stomach polyps

Stomach polyps are cells that grow in masses in the inner lining of stomach cells. The stomach polyps do not cause any symptoms. These polyps can be diagnosed with certain medical examination.

Stomach polyps are not cancerous, but these polyps can increase the risk of stomach tumours. These should be diagnosed and treated immediately.


Stomach tumours are common and can be treated if diagnosed early. It can be treated, and the survival rates are high.

There are people who lead happy life diagnosed with stomach tumours. Stomach tumours affect the quality of life, and certain lifestyle changes are required to lead a happy life.

Smoking and alcohol consumption should be avoided, and nutrient-rich food is required to prevent stomach tumours and their harmful effects.


What are the symptoms of stomach tumours?

The symptoms of stomach tumours include
1. Heartburn,
2. Nausea
3. Bloating
4. Difficulty swallowing
5. Stomach pain and
6. Abnormal weight loss

Is stomach tumour always cancer?

Most stomach tumours are benign, but some can be malignant.

Can you survive a stomach tumour?

About 40% of people can survive stomach tumours. However, the survival rate depends on the stage and the affected part of the tumours

What happens if you have a stomach tumour?

A stomach tumour can affect the quality of life. It can cause bloating and indigestion, even if you eat small meals, you will feel full, have heartburns, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite.

What is metastatic stomach cancer?

Metastatic stomach cancer denotes the stage of cancer. Metastatic cancer is the advanced stage of stomach cancer, and would have spread to other organs like nearby lymph nodes.

Where does metastatic stomach cancer spread to?

Metastatic cancer can spread to nearby parts like the liver, lungs, lymph nodes and to the abdominal cavity.

What are the most common metastatic stomach cancer symptoms?

The common metastatic stomach cancer symptoms include
1. Indigestion
2. Heartburn
3. Nausea
4. Vomiting
5. Loss of appetite
6. Bloating and
7. Stomach pain


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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