Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is a cancer that starts in the stomach. To understand stomach cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the stomach. The most common cause is infection by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which accounts for more than 60% of cases. Smoking increases the risk of developing gastric cancer significantly, from 40% increased risk for current smokers to 82% increase for heavy smokers. Lymphomas and mesenchymal tumors may also develop within the stomach. Most of the time, stomach cancerdevelops through a number of stages over a number of years.
Diagnosis is usually by biopsy done during endoscopy. This is then followed by medical imaging to determine if the disease has spread to other parts of the body. Japan and South Korea, two countries that have high rates of disease, screen for stomach cancer. Surgery remains the only curative therapy for stomach cancer. The pathologic examination of the resected specimen shows incomplete resection or deep invasion by tumor, the patient would need a formal stomach resection.
Data were obtained for each of Canada’s 10 provinces for the 10 fiscal years 1982 through 1991. All hospitalizations of persons 15 years of age or older with a primary diagnosis at discharge coded 430 according to the International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, were included. Rates of stomach cancer per 100 000 population were calculated for men and women for 5-year age groups, by calendar year, and by season.