Key Statistics About Stomach Cancer

How common is stomach cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for stomach cancer (also known as gastric cancer) in the United States for 2021 are:

  • About 26,560 new cases of stomach cancer (16,160 in men and 10,400 in women)
  • About 11,180 deaths from this type of cancer (6,740 men and 4,440 women)

Stomach cancer accounts for about 1.5% of all new cancers diagnosed in the US each year.

Who gets stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer mostly affects older people. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 68. About 6 of every 10 people diagnosed with stomach cancer each year are 65 or older.

The lifetime risk of developing stomach cancer is higher in men (about 1 in 96) than in women (about 1 in 152). But each person's risk can be affected by many other factors.

Stomach cancer trends over time

In the US, the number of new cases of stomach cancer has been dropping by about 1.5% each year over the last 10 years.

For much of the early 20th century, stomach cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, but today it is well down on this list. The reasons for this aren't completely clear, but two main factors are thought to have been important:

  • The increased use of refrigeration for food storage, which has led to people eating fewer salted and smoked foods (known risk factors for stomach cancer).
  • The decline in the number of people infected with the Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) bacteria, which is thought to be a major cause of stomach cancer.

While stomach cancer has become less common in the US, it's still much more common in some other parts of the world, particularly in East Asia. It remains one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the world.

For statistics on survival for stomach cancer, see Survival Rates for Stomach Cancer.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2021.

Chan AO, Wong B. Epidemiology of gastric cancer. UpToDate. 2020. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-of-gastric-cancer on May 27, 2020.

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2017, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2017/, based on November 2019 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2020.

National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Stomach Cancer. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/stomach.html on May 26, 2020.

World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute  for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Expert Report. 2018. Diet, nutrition, physical activity and stomach cancer. Accessed at https://www.aicr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/stomach-cancer-report.pdf on May 26, 2020.

References

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2021. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2021.

Chan AO, Wong B. Epidemiology of gastric cancer. UpToDate. 2020. Accessed at https://www.uptodate.com/contents/epidemiology-of-gastric-cancer on May 27, 2020.

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2017, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2017/, based on November 2019 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2020.

National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Stomach Cancer. Accessed at https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/stomach.html on May 26, 2020.

World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute  for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Expert Report. 2018. Diet, nutrition, physical activity and stomach cancer. Accessed at https://www.aicr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/stomach-cancer-report.pdf on May 26, 2020.

Last Revised: January 22, 2021

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