Can stomach cancer be found early?
Screening is the search for disease, such as cancer, in people without symptoms. In countries such as Japan, where stomach cancer is very common, mass screening of the population has helped find many cases at an early, curable stage. This may have reduced the number of people who die of this disease, but this has not been proven.
Studies in the United States have not found that routine screening in people at average risk for stomach cancer is useful, because this disease is not that common. On the other hand, people with certain stomach cancer risk factors may benefit from screening. If you have any questions about your stomach cancer risk or about the benefits of screening, please ask your doctor.
Some of the tests that could be used for screening, such as upper endoscopy, are described in the section, “How is stomach cancer diagnosed?”
Because routine screening for stomach cancer is not done in the United States, most people with this disease are not diagnosed until they have certain signs and symptoms that point to the need for medical tests.
Last Medical Review: 02/15/2013
Last Revised: 02/11/2014