this could happen to me. At just 36, with three kiddos, and a wife that loves me. I want to be able to help those that might be experiencing something like this – a life-altering disease full of questions and doubt – maybe, hopefully.”
What Really Is Stomach Cancer?
Most cancers of the stomach (about 90% to 95%) are adenocarcinomas. These cancers develop from the gland cells in the innermost lining of the stomach (the mucosa).
If you are told you have stomach cancer (or gastric cancer), it will almost always be an adenocarcinoma. The information on the following pages that discusses stomach cancer refers to this type of cancer.
There are 2 main types of stomach adenocarcinomas: Intestinal and Diffuse.
The intestinal type tends to have a slightly better prognosis (outlook). The cancer cells are more likely to have certain gene changes that might allow for treatment with targeted drug therapy.
The diffuse type tends to grow spread more quickly. It is less common than the intestinal type, and it tends to be harder to treat.
Other types of cancer that can start in the stomach
Gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs)
These uncommon tumors start in very early forms of cells in the wall of the stomach called interstitial cells of Cajal. Some GISTs are much more likely than others to grow into other areas or spread to other parts of the body. Although GISTs can start anywhere in the digestive tract, most start in the stomach. For more information, see Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST).
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Neuroendocrine tumors (including carcinoids)
Neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) start in cells in the stomach (or other parts of the digestive tract) that act like nerve cells in some ways and like hormone-making (endocrine) cells in others. Most NETs tend to grow slowly and do not spread to other organs, but some can grow and spread quickly. NETs are discussed in more detail in Gastrointestinal Neuroendocrine (Carcinoid) Tumors.