In North America, gastric cancer is often diagnosed at very advanced stages. Sometimes, the cancer is so advanced that cure is not possible. This may occur when the disease involves organs that cannot be removed with surgery or when disease has spread to other parts of the body far away from the stomach (i.e. liver, lungs, bone, brain).
In these situations the goals of treatment are to alleviate symptoms (i.e. pain, difficulty swallowing, obstruction, bleeding) and to extend life. These treatments will not cure the cancer. In general, one or more of the following types of treatment may be recommended by your healthcare team.