Doctors can potentially cure stomach cancer if it’s caught early. But it often doesn’t cause symptoms until it’s already in an advanced stage.
Read on to learn more about when stomach cancer is most likely to be cured and what factors influence the likelihood of survival.
Doctors often wait 5 years before calling your cancer cured because most cancers that relapse return within this period. They’re especially likely to come back within the first couple of years.
In a 2019 study, researchers found that in half of people with stomach adenocarcinoma that came back, it returned within 10.8 months.
Many factors can influence your chances of being cured of stomach cancer, including the following:
Doctors stage stomach cancer to help estimate your outlook and select the best treatment. The American Joint Committee on Cancer’s TNM system is the most common staging system, which classifies stomach cancer from stages 0 to 4. This staging system considers:
- the size of the cancer
- how many lymph nodes it’s spread to
- whether the cancer has spread to distant tissues
Most stomach cancers diagnosed in stage 3 or 4 aren’t considered curable.
Age and overall health
People who are younger and in better overall health tend to be able to undergo the most intensive cancer treatment, which gives the best chance of survival.
Type of cancer
Most stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas, which categorize into intestinal and diffuse subtypes. The diffuse subtype is spread throughout the lining of your stomach instead of being only a single tumor. It tends to have a
Rarer types of stomach cancer include:
Spread to lymph nodes or blood vessels
Stomach cancers that have spread to lymph or blood vessels have a high risk of spreading to other parts of your body.
Tumors found in the lower part of the stomach tend to have a better outlook than tumors found in the upper part of the stomach.
Stage 1 stomach cancer is usually contained in your stomach but may have spread to
Stage 2 cancer is still contained in the stomach but may have spread to up to
Stage 3 stomach cancer may have spread to other tissues near your stomach. It often isn’t considered curable, but about a
Stage 4 stomach cancer has spread to distant organs. It’s not considered curable. Treatment is usually palliative, meaning it aims to prolong your life and reduce your symptoms.
Here’s a look at stomach cancer relative
|Stage||5-year relative survival rate|
Stomach cancer survival rate by age
Stomach cancer is generally easier to treat in children or young adults. Here’s a look at the relative
|Age range||5-year relative survival|
|Children (and under 20)||61.0%|
|15 to 39||38.4%|
|40 to 64||39.0%|
|65 to 74||38.2%|
Here are some frequently asked questions people have about stomach cancer treatment.
How can you detect stomach cancer early?
Screening for stomach cancer isn’t recommended by any major medical organization in the United States for most of the general population. People with
Can stomach cancer be fatal?
Unfortunately, stomach cancer is often fatal for people who receive a diagnosis after their cancer has spread to other parts of their body. Seeing your doctor as soon as symptoms appear gives you the best chance of catching your cancer early.
Stomach cancer often isn’t diagnosed until it’s spread beyond the stomach. Stomach cancer that has spread to other body parts is very difficult to treat.
Doctors are most likely to consider your cancer curable if it’s only in your stomach. Doctors often consider cancer to be cured if you have no signs or symptoms for 5 years.