Stomach cancer


at stomach cancer (Gastric carcinoma) is a malignant tumor of the stomach. It usually starts from the gastric fluid-forming glandular cells. Gastric cancer is a relatively common type of tumor that usually affects older people over 50 years. The disease is often recognized late. The earlier gastric cancer is discovered, the better the chances of recovery. Read more about stomach cancer.

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in medical reports or on incapacity certificates. C16ArtikelübersichtMagenkrebs

  • description
  • symptoms
  • Causes and risk factors
  • Examinations and diagnosis
  • treatment
  • Disease course and prognosis

Stomach cancer: description

Gastric cancer occurs when cells of the stomach begin to divide uncontrollably. Depending on which cell type exactly the tumor emanates, one distinguishes different types of gastric carcinoma:

Mostly degenerate glandular cells of the gastric mucosa, which form the gastric juice. Physicians then speak of a so-called adenocarcinoma. In rare cases, the tumor is caused by lymphoid cells (MALT lymphoma) or by muscle and connective tissue cells (sarcoma).

Gastric cancer: frequency

The incidence of gastric cancer has declined in recent years, yet it is still a very common cancer. Men are more affected than women. For example, stomach cancer is the fifth most common in men and the sixth most common in women.

Gastric cancer is a disease of old age. The incidence peak of gastric cancer is beyond the 50th year of life. The incidence of gastric cancer has been linked to dietary and lifestyle habits. Therefore, the incidence of gastric cancer differs between different continents: In Japan and parts of South America, stomach cancer is much more prevalent than in Germany or the US.

Gastric cancer stages

Gastric carcinoma is classified according to its malignancy and after the spread of the cancer cells in the stomach itself as well as in the lymph nodes or other body regions:

Malignancy: The extent to which gastric cancer cells differ from healthy gastric cells is assessed by grading four stages (G1 to G4). At the G1 stage, gastric cancer cells are still very similar to healthy cells. At the G4 stage, the gastric cancer cells are already very undifferentiated and very different from healthy cells. The more advanced the stage, the more aggressive the tumor usually grows.

Spread of the tumor: How far the tumor has already spread to the surrounding tissue is determined with the help of the TNM classification (T = tumor, N = lymph nodes, M = metastases) recorded.

Tumor size (T):

  • T1: an early tumor that borders on the innermost layer of mucous membrane
  • T2: Tumor additionally affects the smooth muscle layer of the stomach
  • T3: Tumor additionally affects the outer connective tissue layer (serosa) of the stomach
  • T4: tumor additionally affects surrounding organs

Lymph nodes (N):

  • N1: One to two regional lymph nodes are affected by cancer cells
  • N2: Three to six regional lymph nodes are affected by cancer cells
  • N3: More than seven lymph nodes are affected by cancer cells

Metastases (M):

  • M0: There are no distant metastases in other organs
  • M1: There are distant metastases in other organs

Example: A T2N2M0 tumor would be a gastric carcinoma that has already penetrated the muscle layer of the stomach (T2), affecting three to six surrounding lymph nodes (N2), but has not yet caused gastric cancer metastases (M0).

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Stomach cancer: symptoms

Read all about the signs of stomach cancer in the article Gastric Cancer: Symptoms.