Many patients with early-stage stomach cancer experience symptoms such as indigestion, mild nausea, bloating after eating, and loss of appetite, states WebMD. Typically, early-stage stomach cancer causes few symptoms, and the symptoms that are experienced are non-specific. For this reason, stomach cancer can become quite serious before it's diagnosed.
Once stomach cancer progresses, it leads to more severe symptoms, such as discomfort in the upper to middle part of the abdomen, weight loss and bloody vomit, according to the American Cancer Society. Patients with stomach cancer also often have low white blood cell counts. Because the symptoms of stomach cancer are shared with other conditions, such as ulcers and stomach viruses, many patients are not diagnosed until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Patients with vague symptoms that may indicate stomach cancer are advised to discuss their symptoms with their doctor, states WebMD. Tests, such X-rays of the upper GI tract, are used to determined whether stomach cancer is to blame for the symptoms. Any lumps or bumps detected in an X-ray may be biopsied to determine whether or not they are cancerous. If a patient is found to have stomach cancer, treatments may include surgical removal of all or part of the stomach, chemotherapy or radiation.