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Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

  • Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

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: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116155/Gastric-carcinoma.
  • Gastric cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/stomach/patient/stomach-treatment-pdq.
  • Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/stomach-cancer/about/what-is-stomach-cancer.html.
  • Stomach cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/tumors-of-the-gi-tract/stomach-cancer.


  • EBSCO Medical Review Board
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.