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Stomach cancer

Stomach cancer is more common in people aged over 55, and affects more men than women. About 570 people are diagnosed with it in Ireland every year.

The main treatments for stomach cancer are surgery and chemotherapy. Targeted therapies and radiotherapy may also be used.

On this page:

What is stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer happens when cells in the stomach change and over time develop into a tumour. As the tumour gets bigger it can affect the digestion of food and cause symptoms. Stomach cancer can also be called gastric cancer.

About 570 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer in Ireland every year.

stomach diagram

What is the stomach and what does it do? 

The stomach is part of your digestive system.  It is a hollow organ shaped like a bag that goes from the end of your oesophagus (food pipe) to the start of your small bowel. 

In the stomach lining, glands make chemicals, such as enzymes and acids, to help break down food. The stomach lining also makes a type of protein called intrinsic factor. This helps to absorb vitamin B12 into your bloodstream needed by red blood cells and your nervous system. 

Information about stomach cancer treatment

Treatment for stomach cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapies and radiotherapy. For more information about treatments for stomach cancer, visit our treatment page.

Medical content updated from our Understanding cancer of the stomach booklet (2023). Reviewed by William Robb, Consultant Upper GI Surgeon and Wendy Hickey, Upper GI Cancer Nurse Specialist.

Publications about stomach cancer
Downloadable booklets and factsheets
Stomach cancer booklet
Cancer of the stomach booklet
Information for stomach cancer patients, including tests, staging, treatment and side-effects, and how to cope.

Looking for support?

Our cancer support section contains information and advice on coping with cancer for diagnosed patients and their loved ones.

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