Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is a cancer that starts in 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. Gastric cancers due to smoking mostly occur in the upper part of the stomach near the esophagus. Some studies show increased risk with alcohol consumption as well. Lymphomas and mesenchymal tumors may also develop within the stomach.
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. 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. Hispanics in New Mexico were found to have higher stomach cancer rates compared with NHWs in a study that involved 47 cases.