Some of the causes for stomach cancer include advanced age, helicobacter pylori infection (bacteria that causes stomach ulcers), smoking, obesity, diet and in some instances a gene that occurs in some families.
Patients with gastric cancer may present with symptoms including difficulties swallowing, weight loss, bleeding, fullness, bloating, nausea or abdominal pain.
An urgent upper endoscopy is required to allow for a diagnosis of gastric cancer. At the time of the procedure, biopsies are taken and sent for testing to confirm the diagnosis.
A CT scan is then performed to look for the extent of the disease. In some cases, further biopsies may be required which can be performed by a radiologist, or at the time of a laparoscopy (keyhole procedure).