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Stomach cancer
Stomach Hero

Stomach cancer

Stomach cancer refers to cancer that starts in the stomach. It can also be called gastric cancer. The stomach is made up of 5 layers of tissue. Most stomach cancers develop in the innermost layer, called the mucosa. While there are several types of stomach cancers, by far the most common type are called adenocarcinomas. They make up 90-95% of stomach cancers.

How Common Is Stomach Cancer? 1

1-2% of new cancers

Stomach cancer makes up 1-2% of all new cancers diagnosed in the US each year.

1 in 155 women

Approximately 1 in 155 women will develop stomach cancer in their lifetime.

1 in 96 men

Approximately 1 in 96 men will develop stomach cancer in their lifetime.

How Genetic Mutations Increase Stomach Cancer Risk

Mutations are rare, but when they exist, they significantly increase cancer risk.

Women Stomach Cancer Graph

Women Stomach Cancer Graph

Men Stomach Cancer Graph

Men Stomach Cancer Graph

Interesting Information 2

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People of certain ethnicities have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.

Stomach cancer is more common in African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders than in Caucasians.

There are factors that can decrease risk.

A diet high in fruits and vegetables can decrease the risk of stomach cancer.

Factors Icon

Diet, lifestyle, and other factors can increase the risk of stomach cancer.

It is estimated that smokers have twice as high a risk of developing stomach cancer as compared to non-smokers.

Exposure to certain substances for workers in coal, metal, and rubber industries seem to increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Diets that have large amounts of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, pickled vegetables, and foods with nitrates or nitrites that are common in cured meats are associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer.

Having a personal history of certain types of polyps in the stomach, called adenomas, increase the risk for stomach cancer.

Certain medical conditions such as pernicious anemia, hypertrophic gastropathy, common variable immune deficiency (CVID), or long-term infection with the bacteria H. pylori in the stomach, increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Useful Resources


  1. SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Female Breast Cancer. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, National Cancer Institute Website. Accessed April 7, 2015. Available at
  2. What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?. American Cancer Society Website. Updated February 10, 2016. Available at