Yanghee Woo, M.D., surgeon
Stomach cancer — also called gastric cancer — is a rare disease in the United States, however it is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Nearly 1 million patients worldwide will be diagnosed with stomach cancer this year. About 26,000 of those cases will be diagnosed in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
Types of stomach cancer
- Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer; it starts in the inner lining of the stomach, called the mucosa. Between 90 to 95 percent of stomach cancers are adenocarcinomas.
The two types of gastric adenocarcinoma include:
- Intestinal type is usually found in the lower portions of the stomach. This type tends to arise from chronic inflammation — with a well described malignant transformation of normal mucosa – and has a strong association with H. pylori infection.
- Diffuse type is an aggressive form of cancer in which cells (that never come together to form tumors) scattered throughout the stomach grow and spread rapidly. This form is more commonly found in the upper portions of the stomach or involves the entire stomach. Some patients with inherited conditions are predisposed to developing diffuse type gastric cancer.