Advanced stomach cancer

Advanced stomach cancer is when the cancer has spread beyond the stomach to other parts of the body. Treatment can be given to try to shrink and control the cancer and to relieve symptoms.

Cancer that has metastasised keeps the name of the original, primary cancer, so the cancer will still be called stomach cancer even if it has spread to your bowel, for example. Because stomach cancer often causes no symptoms in its early stages, some people find out that their cancer is advanced when it is first diagnosed. In other cases, the stomach cancer is advanced when it comes back after treatment (recurrence).

For more about the emotional and physical aspects of Advanced cancer, download a booklet from this page, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20.

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Palliative treatment

Palliative treatment aims to manage symptoms and improve people’s quality of life without trying to cure the disease. It may be beneficial for people at any stage of advanced stomach cancer.

Palliative treatment for stomach cancer may include surgery, stenting, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or other medicines. These treatments can help manage symptoms such as pain, bleeding, swallowing difficulty and nausea. They can also slow the spread of the cancer.

Palliative treatment is one aspect of palliative care, in which a team of health professionals aim to meet your physical, emotional, practical and spiritual needs.


Video: What is palliative care?

Find out how palliative treatment aims to manage symptoms and improve people’s quality of life without trying to cure the disease.


This information was last reviewed in September 2017
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