Stomach cancer (gastric carcinoma) is a disease in which certain cells of the stomach undergo uncontrolled division, resulting in the formation of a malignant tumor. In most cases, the gastric juice-producing glandular cells degenerate. In this case one speaks of an adeno-carcinoma. Occasionally, the lymphatic cells (MALT lymphoma) may also be affected by degeneration, or cells of muscle or connective tissue (sarcoma).
Stomach cancer is one of the most frequent tumour-related causes of death, despite its decline in recent years. The reason for this is often late diagnosis, as stomach cancer is usually only discovered at an advanced stage. As with any tumor disease, the earlier the tumor is discovered and treated, the better the therapy and cure.
Stomach cancer is the fifth most common tumour in men and the eighth most common tumour in women. With increasing age, there is also an increased incidence of stomach cancer. On average, men develop the disease around the age of 71 and women around the age of 75.
In general, there is also a difference in the incidence of stomach cancer worldwide. In Japan, for example, the incidence rate is higher than in the USA or Germany.