NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Stomach Cancer, Version 1.2016
Cancer or its treatment can cause unpleasant and
sometimes harmful symptoms. One of the most
common symptoms among people with stomach
cancer is bleeding. Bleeding may be caused by the
cancer or cancer treatment.
Endoscopic treatment may be used to stop bleeding.
Endoscopic methods include injections, clips, and
heat. Endoscopic treatment may work at first but often
bleeding returns in time. More research is needed to
learn how well endoscopic treatment works.
There are two other treatment options in addition to
endoscopic treatment. Embolization may be used
to close up or block blood vessels. Some research
supports use of EBRT to control bleeding. EBRT
stops both recent and ongoing blood loss.
Proton pump inhibitors can be prescribed by doctors
for bleeding. However, it is unclear how well they
work to stop bleeding. More research is needed.
Other symptoms related to stomach cancer include
pain and nausea with or without vomiting. Pain may
be controlled with radiation therapy, chemotherapy,
pain medication, and other methods. Likewise,
there are medicines and other methods that may
help stop nausea and vomiting. Treatment for these
symptoms will be based on whether they are caused
by a tumor blocking your gut. Read the next section,
, to learn more.
You may have other symptoms that aren’t listed
here. If you have a new or worse symptom, tell your
treatment team. There may be ways to help you feel
The cancer may block food from passing through your
stomach and intestines. If your doctor thinks there is a
blockage (obstruction), you will need to be tested. An
endoscope may be inserted down your throat and into
your stomach so your doctor can see. Another option
is to swallow a contrast dye while being x-rayed. The
x-rays are used to create a live video of the inside of
your stomach. This is a fluoroscopic assessment.
Endoscopic treatment may be used to unblock your
stomach. This treatment involves placement of a thin
metal stent while you are sedated. The stent may be
placed in the opening between your esophagus and
stomach or in the opening between your stomach and
small intestine. The stent will expand in the opening
and remain in your body to allow food to pass
through. Placement of the stent can be done on an
Another treatment for obstruction is surgery. General
anesthesia is needed. Surgery may create a bypass
around the blockage or remove some of your
Shrinking the cancer may also help unblock
your stomach. To shrink the cancer, EBRT or
chemotherapy may be used.