Stomach Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

Making an accurate stomach cancer diagnosis is the first step toward developing an effective stomach cancer treatment plan. The doctors make use of a variety of tests while diagnosing stomach cancer, and these tests are important for doctors to arrive at a conclusive diagnosis.

Similar to any other cancer type, an early-stage diagnosis of cancer goes a long way toward achieving better stomach cancer recovery rates. Thus, it is advisable to go for regular checkups and immediate consultation if any of the stomach cancer symptoms appear.

What Are the Tests for a Stomach Cancer Diagnosis?

Doctors recommend various tests and examination methods for stomach cancer detection. Initially, the doctor will perform a physical examination to understand the cause of the symptoms experienced. If the findings from these initial tests are alarming, doctors will recommend additional tests. The following tests help in detecting stomach cancer:

Endoscopic Procedures

Endoscopy is one of the most common stomach cancer diagnostic tests. Endoscopic procedures help doctors have a detailed look at the inner lining of the stomach, take out tissue samples for biopsy, and evaluate the extent of the spread of the disease.


A biopsy is an important stomach cancer test recommended to obtain a definitive diagnosis. A stomach biopsy involves taking out a small tissue sample from the suspected area of the stomach lining. This sample is then examined under a microscope for the presence of cancer cells. A biopsy also helps in determining the type of stomach cancer and its stage.

Lab Tests

Doctors may also recommend specific lab tests for a stomach cancer diagnosis. That said, lab tests alone are not sufficient for stomach cancer diagnosis and need to be combined with different tests, such as imaging, endoscopy, and other tests. Some of the standard lab tests include blood tests for stomach cancer, stool tests, and molecular and genetic testing. The following lab tests are commonly recommended for stomach cancer detection:

Imaging Tests

Imaging tests lend a helping hand to doctors in visualizing the cancer, finding out its type, size, and location, and determining the extent of its spread. These imaging tests create detailed images of the stomach and nearby organs from different angles. These imaging tests also help in stomach cancer staging.

Different Ways to Treat Stomach Cancer

Doctors recommend various approaches to treat stomach cancer, and the right treatment plan is devised after considering the type of stomach cancer, its stage and size, and the patient's health condition.


Gastrectomy refers to a surgical procedure used to treat stomach cancer that involves partial or complete removal of the stomach. This procedure is used as a treatment when the cancer has not spread to other organs and is still localized.

Endoscopic Mucosal Removal

Endoscopic mucosal removal refers to the removal of precancerous or abnormal tissues present in the stomach's inner lining. This method of treatment is effective in the early stages of stomach cancer and comes in handy when the cancer is limited to the mucosa or the stomach's inner lining.

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC)

Hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) involves a combination of heated chemotherapy and surgery to treat stomach cancer. The goal of the treatment is to remove as much cancer as possible.

Liver excision

Liver excision is a line of treatment used by doctors when stomach cancer has metastasized to the liver. Liver excision, or liver surgery, involves the removal of the liver portion that is affected by cancer.

Radiation Treatment for Stomach Cancer

Radiation therapy is a stomach cancer therapy that uses high-energy radiation, such as X-rays, to target and kill cancerous cells. Doctors use it in combination with surgery and chemotherapy, depending on the patient's health, the type and size of the cancer, and the extent of the spread of the cancer.

Interventional Radiology

Interventional radiology refers to a sub-specialty within the radiology line. It uses imaging and minimally invasive methods to diagnose and treat stomach cancer. The following are some of the commonly used IR methods to manage stomach cancer:

  • Ablation: It involves using extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) to destroy cancer tissues.
  • Embolization: It involves cutting off blood supply to the tumor, either through chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • Electroporation: It involves the use of electric current to destroy cancer cells.
  • Stent Placement: It involves placing stents to remove the blockage caused by the tumor, facilitate other treatments, and alleviate various symptoms caused by the disease.
  • Fluid Drainage: It involves draining excess fluid from the abdominal cavity.


Immunotherapy is a procedure that uses drugs to enhance the immune system’s ability to recognize and attack cancerous cells in the stomach.

Targeted therapy

Targeted therapy for stomach cancer, or gastric cancer therapy, involves targeting specific molecules that are present on the cancer cells and certain cellular pathways that are responsible for the growth and spread of the cancerous cells. Targeted therapy blocks the growth of cancer cells or destroys them by targeting these molecules and cellular pathways.


The goal of stomach cancer chemotherapy may be to shrink the tumor before surgery (neo-adjuvant chemotherapy) or destroy the cancerous cells that remain after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy). Some of the commonly recommended chemotherapy drugs for stomach cancer include 5-FU, oxaliplatin, cisplatin, and epirubicin.

Palliative Care

Palliative care is recommended for patients with advanced-stage stomach cancer. It includes alleviating pain and other symptoms of the disease, offering support and comfort to the patients, and improving the patient's quality of life.

Why Choose HCG for the Treatment and Diagnosis of Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer diagnosis and treatment always require specialized expertise. At HCG, we have skilled oncologists who are trained to treat different types of stomach cancer with modern treatment approaches. In addition, HCG has state-of-the-art equipment and advanced technologies, which come in handy for the effective diagnosis and treatment of stomach cancer.


Stomach cancer diagnosis and treatment need an expert and comprehensive approach, which is essential for its early detection. Being aware of different symptoms of stomach cancer, seeing a doctor when persistent symptoms are experienced, and opting for regular screening can help in early detection and on-time treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

The rate at which stomach cancer spreads depends on factors such as the type of cancer, the diagnosis stage, and the patient's overall health and age.

Stomach cancer surgery is a complex procedure, and again, its seriousness depends on factors such as the cancer's stage, the type of surgery performed, and the patient's overall health.

There is no particular blood test for stomach cancer detection. Blood tests do not help in arriving at a conclusive diagnosis. Therefore, along with blood tests, doctors recommend multiple tests, such as endoscopy, imaging tests, and biopsy.

A possible solution to gastric problems involves identifying and treating the underlying cause rather than treating symptoms. Also, adopting healthy lifestyle habits helps in this direction.

There is no simple answer to the question, “How to diagnose stomach cancer early?”. In most cases, the symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to those of common GI issues and, hence, are easily ignored.

For stomach cancer to be detected in its early stages, it is important to not ignore any persistent GI symptoms and see a doctor for a detailed evaluation. Also, those with a high risk of developing stomach cancer should consider regular checkups as per their doctor’s recommendations.

It is possible to treat stomach cancer successfully, provided it is diagnosed in its early stages. In the early stages, the tumor is localized and relatively easier to treat. As the disease progresses, nearby tissues, lymph nodes, and distant organs are affected, and its management becomes challenging.

Early detection is the key to the effective management of stomach cancer. Therefore, it is important for one to be mindful of different stomach cancer symptoms and consult a doctor whenever necessary.

No single treatment is identified as a cure for stomach cancer. The treatment plan varies for every stomach cancer case, depending on individual case parameters. Different treatment options available for stomach cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy, interventional radiology procedures, and palliative care.