Tumours (abnormal growths) within the stomach can be cancerous (malignant) or benign (not cancerous). Cancerous growths of the stomach are uncommon in Australia, but are a very serious diagnosis.
Small stomach tumours usually cause no symptoms and generally grow slowly. As they enlarge patients may experience abdominal pain, nausea, appetite loss, weight loss, increased feeling of fullness after very small meals and vomiting (sometimes with blood). If you have any of these symptoms it is important you are seen by your general practitioner and assessed as soon as possible.
Assessment for a potential gastric tumour typically requires a gastroscopy and biopsies of tissue via camera which is introduced into the stomach via the mouth.
Treatment options for gastric tumours include removal with gastroscopy, gastrectomy – removal via surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, or a combination of these.
Gastric cancers should be treated promptly, and it is important to have your treatment in a large centre with experience in the area and the required facilities to provide multidisciplinary care and the full range of treatment options. Many of these tumours are best treated with various combinations of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.