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Stomach Cancer

diagnosis · treatment · research

What stomach cancer is

A malignant tumour originating from the mucosal cells of the stomach is called stomach cancer or gastric cancer.

This malignant tumour can grow and spread in four different ways:

Local growth can occur in two ways: either contiguously within the stomach towards the oesophagus and into the duodenum, or deep within the stomach. Once through the full thickness of the stomach wall, the tumour may invade other nearby organs such as the liver, gallbladder, pancreas, colon, right kidney, etc.

The stomach has a rich network of lymphatic vessels that allow lymph to drain into multiple lymph node regions. The way it spreads through this route is predictable, first affecting the nearest lymph nodes and then those further away. There is an extensive network of perigastric lymph nodes.

This disease is spread through the blood vessels, particularly to the liver, lungs and bones.

It is common in abdominal tumours due to the implantation of tumour cells in the peritoneum (the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and envelops the viscera). These cells grow on the peritoneum, creating nodules of varying sizes (from millimetres to several centimetres). In this scenario, what is called “peritoneal carcinomatosis” is present.
In women, this route of dissemination can lead to tumour invasion in the female genital tract, especially in the ovaries.

Treatment of stomach cancer at the IVO

IVO Digestive Tumours Committee

The Digestive Tumours Committee is made up of a multidisciplinary team of expert professionals.

General and Digestive Surgery Service

The General and Digestive Surgery Service deals with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of stomach cancer.

Medical Oncology Service

The Service's team of professionals accompanies cancer patients throughout the whole disease process.

Clinical trials

The current way we have of advancing and improving cancer treatment is through what we call "clinical trials".

A clinical trial is a research study carried out on people with the aim of learning more about how the body reacts to certain treatments. These trials generally seek to find drugs that are more effective than the current best therapeutic option for patients, or that have similar efficacy but a better toxicity profile.

Bearing in mind that almost all currently available treatments are the result of clinical research, the importance of clinical trials is obvious.

The IVO has a clinical trials unit for all types of tumours and participates in phase 1-3 studies as well as other types of studies.

Living with stomach cancer

coping with the diagnosis and receiving treatment and psychological support

Whether you receive the news of an initial diagnosis of cancer or a relapse, coping with cancer can be emotionally overwhelming. Each person has their own way of coping with a stomach cancer diagnosis, but there are some recommendations that can help you through this process:

  • Maintain communication and the company of family and friends, the people closest to the patient, who can provide a support network throughout the process
  • Talk to other people who have survived cancer or who are in the same situation. There are many local and national associations and support groups. The Spanish Association Against Cancer (Asociación Española Contra el Cáncer) is perhaps the best-known one.
  • Inform yourself in order to make the best decisions about treatment and medical professionals.

Early Diagnosis

Nuclear Medicine


Radiation Therapy