Tumours (abnormal growths) of the stomach can be malignant (cancer) or benign (not cancerous). Cancerous growths of the stomach are uncommon in Australia, but very common in many Asian countries.
Small stomach tumours usually cause no symptoms, but as they enlarge patients experience abdominal pain, nausea, appetite loss, weight loss, the feeling of fullness after very small meals and can vomit (sometimes with blood).
If you have any or all of these symptoms it may be warranted to have a gastroscopy to assess for a gastric tumour.
If a tumour in the stomach is found, it needs to be investigated appropriately to make an assessment of what type of tumour it is and what is the appropriate treatment, including whether it requires an operation. Treatment options for gastric tumours include removal with gastroscopy, removal with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or a combination of these.
If the tumour requires, and is able to be removed with, an operation, this is moderately large surgery. Removal of the stomach for cancer is known as a ‘Gastrectomy‘.
If the tumour does not require, or is not able to be removed with, an operation you should discuss with your surgeon the appropriate management plan.