Stomach cancer often does not have symptoms in the early stages. When signs do appear, they may be mistaken for less serious problems such as indigestion or heartburn. This means stomach cancer often is not found until it spreads.
Symptoms of stomach cancer may include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Heartburn, indigestion or ulcer-type symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bloating or swelling in the abdomen
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Feeling of fullness after eating small amounts of food
- Bloody or black stools
- Unintentional weight loss
These symptoms do not always mean you have stomach cancer. However, if you notice any of them for more than two weeks, talk to your doctor. Even if they are not signs of cancer, they may signal other health problems.
Behavioral and lifestyle changes can help prevent stomach cancer. Visit our prevention and screening section to learn how to manage your risk.
In rare cases, stomach cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next. Genetic counseling may be right for you. Visit our genetic testing page to learn more.