The type of treatment you're offered depends on the type and stage of your stomach cancer, plus your overall health.
Surgery to remove the stomach cancer
f your stomach cancer has been diagnosed at an early stage, it may be possible to remove it with surgery.
Surgery to relieve symptoms
If you can't have surgery to remove the cancer, you might still need surgery to help to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. This might involve using stents to help any blockages in your stomach. If your cancer has caused a blockage at either the entrance or exit to your stomach, you might need to have bypass surgery to get rid of the blockage so you can eat and drink.
You might need chemotherapy to treat your stomach cancer. This can be given before surgery to help shrink the tumour and make it more operable. Alternatively, you might need it after surgery to help prevent the cancer from returning. Depending on how advanced your cancer is, you might need chemotherapy to help shrink the cancer, slow its growth or relieve your symptoms.
If you have a stage 2 or 3 cancer, it's likely that you'll need chemotherapy before and after surgery to help prevent the cancer from coming back.
It's quite uncommon to use radiotherapy to treat stomach cancer, but it is sometimes used with advanced stomach cancer to help relieve symptoms like bleeding.
Biological therapy is sometimes used to treat advanced stomach cancer. It's more commonly used to treat breast cancer, but it's effective against some stomach cancers. Some cells from your tumour will be tested to see if they produce the protein human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). If they, do this might be an effective treatment for you.
You'll have regular check-ups following your treatment. How often and for how long depends on the kind of treatment that you had.
At follow-up appointments, your consultant will ask how you're feeling and examine you. You might also need blood tests, a CT scan or ultrasound, or a combination of these tests.
If you're worried or spot any new symptoms between appointments, you should tell your consultant as soon as you can.
Paying for your treatment
You have two options to pay for your treatment – your costs may be covered by your private medical insurance, or you can pay for yourself.
Check with your private medical insurer to see if your diagnostics cost and treatment is covered under your medical insurance policy.
If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the procedure will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation.
Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon's fee, the consultant radiologist's fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.
Want to know more?
If you'd like to read more about stomach cancer, treatment or living with stomach cancer, please visit cancerresearchuk.org.uk.