The renowned gastric cancer specialists at Miami Cancer Institute work to combine medical expertise and compassionate care to create the best treatment plan for each patient. Our oncologists have access to a range of cutting-edge technologies as well as multidisciplinary tumor boards to diagnose and treat your specific cancer, with the goal of creating a personalized plan that effectively treats your disease.

Our team of medical oncologists, surgical oncologists, radiation oncologists and interventional oncologists works with each patient throughout the entire cancer journey; from diagnosis, to treatment, to post-cancer life. Each individualized cancer care plan includes the most advanced treatments and services, such as nutritional advice, as well as physical rehabilitation and pain management services, to address your whole journey as a patient. Not only do we strive to find the treatment that is right for your cancer, we also want to develop the treatment that is right for you as a patient.

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer – also called gastric cancer – is a disease in which cancerous (malignant) cells form in the lining of the stomach. The stomach is an organ that stores and digests food before it passes into the small intestine.

upper GI tract image

What are the types of stomach cancer?

Most stomach cancers are a type of cancer called adenocarcinoma, which start in the tissues that line the stomach. The three main types of stomach adenocarcinomas include:

  • Proximal stomach cancer — This type of cancer occurs more often in people who are obese or who have gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). It starts in the first part of the stomach and may spread into the junction where the esophagus meets the stomach (gastroesophageal junction).
  • Noncardia (distal) stomach cancer — This type of stomach cancer may be caused by long-term inflammation in the lower part of the stomach or infection with the bacteria heliobacter pylori.
  • Diffuse stomach cancer — This is an aggressive form of stomach cancer that spreads throughout the wall of the stomach. It doesn’t form a tumor, so it can sometimes be hard to diagnose. It is found more often in younger people or people with an inherited syndrome that increases stomach cancer risk.

Less-common types of stomach cancer include lymphomasgastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) and carcinoid tumors.

What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?

Some risk factors for stomach cancer can be controlled and others cannot. Some of the controllable risk factors can include:

  • Smoking.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Eating a diet high in smoked, salted or pickled foods.
  • Being overweight or obese.

Risk factors that cannot be controlled include:

What can you do to prevent stomach cancer?

There is no guaranteed way to prevent cancer. However, you can reduce your risk for stomach cancer by:

  • Not using tobacco. Speak with your doctor if you need help quitting.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Eating a healthy diet low in red and processed meat. Aim for plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy. Talk with your doctor or a nutritionist about what you should include in a healthy diet.
  • Keeping a healthy weight. Ask your doctor what a healthy weight is for you.
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Treating Helicobacter pylori infections.
  • Asking your doctor about genetic testing and screening recommendations if you have an inherited disease that increases your risk for stomach cancer. In some cases, your doctor may recommend removing the stomach to prevent disease.

Have questions? We're here to help.

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