Stomach cancer symptoms: How to recognize them!


Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a serious condition that affects the stomach lining. It develops slowly over time, usually starting in the cells lining the innermost layer of the stomach. Unfortunately, stomach cancer often goes undiagnosed until it reaches an advanced stage, making early detection crucial for effective treatment and improved outcomes. Understanding the symptoms associated with stomach cancer is essential in identifying potential warning signs and seeking prompt medical attention. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of stomach cancer symptoms, emphasizing the importance of early detection and encouraging proactive health management.

  1. Indigestion and Persistent Heartburn

Indigestion is a common symptom experienced by many individuals, but if it becomes chronic or occurs frequently, it may be indicative of stomach cancer. Unexplained and persistent indigestion, accompanied by symptoms such as bloating, belching, and discomfort after eating, should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist. Persistent heartburn that does not respond to over-the-counter medications may also be a cause for concern.

  1. Abdominal Pain and Discomfort

Stomach cancer can cause varying degrees of abdominal pain and discomfort. This pain may be described as a dull ache, a burning sensation, or a sense of fullness or pressure in the upper abdomen. It may initially be intermittent but can progress to become persistent and severe as the cancer advances. Pay attention to any unexplained or progressively worsening abdominal pain.

  1. Loss of Appetite and Unintentional Weight Loss

A significant and unexplained loss of appetite is a potential symptom of stomach cancer. Individuals may experience a feeling of early fullness even after consuming small meals. As a result, unintended weight loss can occur, often accompanied by a noticeable decrease in energy levels and fatigue. Sudden and unexplained weight loss, particularly when combined with other symptoms, should not be ignored.

  1. Nausea, Vomiting, and Difficulty Swallowing

Stomach cancer can cause persistent nausea and vomiting, particularly after meals. In some cases, individuals may vomit blood or notice blood in their stool, which requires immediate medical attention. Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, can also be an alarming symptom and may indicate a tumor obstructing the passage of food through the esophagus.

  1. Changes in Bowel Habits

Stomach cancer can affect the digestive system, leading to changes in bowel habits. This may include persistent diarrhea or constipation, or noticeable changes in the color, consistency, or appearance of stools. These changes, especially if they are persistent and not attributed to other factors such as dietary changes or medication, should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.

Bottom line

Recognizing the potential symptoms of stomach cancer is crucial for early detection and timely intervention. While these symptoms may also be caused by various other conditions, do not ignore persistent or concerning signs that do not resolve on their own. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this article or have other concerns about your digestive health, it is essential to consult with a gastroenterologist for a comprehensive evaluation. Remember, early detection and prompt treatment offer the best chance for successful outcomes in managing stomach cancer.

How can I contact gastroenterologist Dr. Zavos to arrange an appointment?

Dr. Chris Zavos is a board-certified gastroenterologist and hepatologist, located in Thessaloniki Greece, and specifically in Kalamaria suburb, about 7 kilometres (4 miles) southeast of downtown Thessaloniki. His private office is at: Fanariou 8 street (near Aigaiou and Adrianoupoleos avenues), Kalamaria (Thessaloniki), Greece.

Thessaloniki International Airport is only 10 km away from his private office in Kalamaria and can be reached by taxi within 13 minutes from the airport.

Dr. Chris Zavos performs endoscopies at Bioclinic private hospital in downtown Thessaloniki (Mitropoleos 86 street).

You can contact Dr. Zavos at phone numbers: (+30)-6976596988 and (+30)-2311283833, or you can email him at Dr. Zavos responds to Greek and English languages.

Last update: 26 September 2023, 18:56


Gastroenterologist - Hepatologist, Thessaloniki

PhD at Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

PGDip at Universitair Medisch Centrum Utrecht, The Netherlands

Ex President, Hellenic H. pylori & Microbiota Study Group