Stomach cancer symptoms: Nine signs you could have the deadly condition

Stomach cancer symptoms can be mistaken for stomach ulcers and acid reflux – less serious conditions. But failing to spot cancer and missing out on treatment in the cancer’s early stages can slash a person’s chance of survival. There are nine symptoms associated with stomach cancer to be wary of, according to Cancer Research UK. If you experience any of these, see your GP.

But failing to spot cancer and missing out on treatment in the cancer’s early stages can slash a person’s chance of survival

Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

A person may feel pain when they swallow or food may get stuck in the throat or chest.

The cancer charity advises: “A harmless narrowing of the food pipe (oesophagus) might also make it difficult for you to swallow. It is important to get this symptom checked by your doctor.”

Weight loss

This is weight loss when you’re not trying to lose weight.

It adds: “Rarely, extreme weight loss can be a sign of an advanced cancer.”


This can occur in your tummy or breastbone, it advises.

Persistent indigestion (dyspepsia) and burping

Indigestion is common and often occurs after eating – it can be painful even if nothing’s seriously wrong.

The charity recommends: “See your doctor if you’ve had heartburn most days for three weeks or more, even if you’re taking medicine and it seems to help.”

Feeling full after eating small amounts

It says: “This is often an easy symptom and can cause weight loss.”


Stomach cancer can cause a blockage in the stomach, which can stop food passing through the digestive symptoms. This can then make you vomit.

The charity says: “Rarely, there is blood in the vomit. You may not be able to see any blood if it is small amounts. The blood might be bright red, which means it is fresh bleeding. Or it may look dark brown, like used coffee grounds, if the blood has been in the stomach for a while.”


In the early and advanced stages of stomach cancer, the cancer can bleed into the stomach.

It explains: “Over time this reduces the number of red blood cells in your blood (anaemia).”

Feeling tired and breathless

The charity advises: “This can be because you have a reduced number of red blood cells (anaemia).”

Dark poo (blood in your stool)

Your poo may appear darker, almost black, if your stomach is bleeding.

But it adds: “Your poo can also be darker if you’re taking iron tablets.”

Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. While most people recognise a change in mole as one of the symptoms, not all the symptoms of skin cancer are related to this. 

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