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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.
Over 550 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer in Ireland every year.
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.
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.
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