What are stomach and oesophageal cancers?
Stomach and oesophageal cancers are malignant tumours found in the tissues of the stomach or oesophagus. They can develop in any part of the stomach or oesophagus. There are different types of both cancers.
Stomach and oesophageal cancers are usually slow growing. They may grow for many years before any symptoms are felt, so they may not be diagnosed until the cancer is advanced.
Stomach cancer symptoms
Symptoms of stomach cancer may include:
- a painful or burning sensation in the abdomen
- indigestion (dyspepsia), frequent burping, heartburn or reflux.
- swelling of the abdomen, or feeling bloated
- nausea and/or vomiting.
Oesophageal cancer symptoms
Symptoms of oesophageal cancer may include:
- difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) or painful swallowing (odynophagia)
- pain behind the breastbone and/or heartburn (reflux)
- vomiting of saliva, food or blood
- hoarseness or coughing.
Stomach and oesophageal cancer statistics
- Each year, about 2000 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer in Australia.
- Stomach cancer is twice as common in men than in women.
- Oesophageal cancer affects about 1200 people in Australia each year.