In the United States, more than 20,000 individuals are diagnosed with gastric (stomach) cancer each year. Men are more likely
to have stomach cancer than women are. Stomach cancer usually affects persons
who are older than 55 years, although it may occur at younger ages. Individuals
from Asia have the highest rates of stomach cancer. Because stomach cancer
may occur without symptoms, it may be in advanced stages by the time the diagnosis
is made. Treatment is then directed at making the patient more comfortable
and improving quality of life. Stomach cancer can metastasize (spread) to other organs of the body. The January 14, 2004, issue
of JAMA includes an article about gastric cancer.