In 2010, the nonprofit organization No Stomach For Cancer (NSFC) initiative and work with the United States Senate resulted in Senate Resolution 655, which established November as the first national Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. The resolution stated that stomach cancer was the second leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide and an estimated 21,000 new cases of stomach cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2009.
According to the resolution, an estimated 10,000 Americans would die from stomach cancer in 2010, and approximately 1 in 113 individuals will be diagnosed with stomach cancer in their lifetimes. The estimated 5-year survival rate for stomach cancer was only 26 percent.
NSFC states that the goals of stomach cancer awareness are to:
- Raise awareness and support efforts to educate people about stomach cancer, including risk factors, prevention, and early detection
- Recognize the need for additional funding and research into early diagnosis and treatment for stomach cancer
- Raise funds for stomach cancer research
- Encourage people and interested groups and organizations to observe and support Stomach Cancer Awareness Month through appropriate programs and activities to promote public awareness of, and potential treatments for, stomach cancer
- Empower everyone by uniting the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer
NSFC says that in 2011, more people began hosting local events to help raise Stomach Cancer Awareness Month awareness. In 2012, NSFC says participation in the No Stomach For Cancer Walk included 35 states and 10 countries.
According to the National Cancer Institute, there were an estimated 26,240 new cases of stomach cancer in 2018. This was 1.5 percent of all new cancer cases.
There were an estimated 10,800 deaths associated with stomach cancer in 2018, according to the National Cancer Institute. This represented 1.8 percent of all cancer deaths.
Between 2008 and 2014, the National Cancer Institute reported 31.0 percent of people survived five years with stomach cancer. In 2015, there were an estimated 97,915 people living with stomach cancer in the United States.
Symptoms of stomach cancer are not always immediately apparent. Some changes in the stomach may not cause adverse symptoms.
In some cases, symptoms of stomach cancer could include:
- Poor appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Heartburn or indigestion
- Vomiting, possibly with blood
- Swelling or fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Bloody stool
- Low red blood cell count (anemia)
The American Cancer Society estimates that only about 1 in 5 stomach cancers in the United States is found at an early stage before it has spread to other areas of the body. According to the American Cancer Society, the overall 5-year relative survival rate of all people with stomach cancer in the United States is about 31 percent.
Treatment for stomach cancer may involve surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapies, immunotherapy, or radiation therapy. Treatment choices vary by type and stage of stomach cancer, and your treatment team could include a gastroenterologist, surgical oncologist, medical oncologist, and radiation oncologist.
GastroCare LI helps people find solutions to gastrointestinal problems. Call (516) 265-7049 or contact us online if you live in the Long Island or Queens area to schedule an appointment with us today.