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The earliest stages of stomach cancer have no symptoms. Many of these symptoms can be caused by other, less serious conditions. However, it is still important to discuss them with your doctor. Early detection and treatment improve outcomes for both cancer and other health conditions.

Symptoms of stomach cancer are vague and are common with many noncancerous conditions, such as indigestion or a gastric ulcer. Over time, symptoms may become more frequent or persistent. The most common symptoms of stomach cancer are:

  • Persistent heartburn or indigestion
  • Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
  • Bloating, especially after eating
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal discomfort and/or pain
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Worsening pain during or difficulty with swallowing
  • Vomiting, may have blood
  • Blood in the stool
  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes—jaundice
  • Increase in abdominal girth from fluid build-up—ascites


Gastric carcinoma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated September 27, 2016. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Gastric cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated April 27, 2017. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated February 10, 2016. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Stomach cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated January 2017. Accessed September 1, 2017.

Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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