Stomach cancer symptoms: Worrying ‘problem’ when eating dinner you should never ignore

By Staff 6 Min Read

The common problem is medically referred to as dysphagia and occurs when people are eating food. It could be a warning sign of stomach cancer. Here are all the symptoms you should look out for – and when you contact your GP

More than 6,000 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer in the UK each year, despite cases falling since the early 1990s.

It is not known what exactly causes the disease, which is most common in those over the age of 75. However, lifestyle factors such as being overweight, drinking too much alcohol and smoking can increase your risk. In fact, Cancer Research says around 15 per cent of stomach cancers in the UK are linked to smoking tobacco.

With any type of cancer, getting an early diagnosis is essential for treatment to be most effective. But, many side-effects of the disease are easily dismissed or go unnoticed – so as it’s Cancer Prevention Action Week (February 19 to 25) we take a look at some of the most common symptoms, and one particular problem when eating you should never ignore.

According to the NHS, having problems with swallowing (medically referred to as dysphagia) could be a red flag of stomach cancer. This is something you might notice when eating breakfast, lunch or dinner as it will be harder to swallow your food.

However, it’s worth remembering that if you’re experiencing this symptom, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, as dysphagia can just be a result of heartburn and acid reflux, or even certain medications. Problems with swallowing can also be caused by serious issues such as a stroke, dementia, or multiple sclerosis – but may not always present itself. Other stomach cancer symptoms to look out for include:

  • Heartburn/ Acid reflux
  • Feeling/ Being sick
  • Signs of indigestion, such as burping a lot
  • Feeling full very quickly when eating
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling tired/ Having no energy
  • Pain at the top of your stomach
  • A lump at the top of your stomach

You should contact your GP or call 111 if you’re having problems swallowing. If you have found a lump, have lost a noticeable amount of weight without trying to, or have been experiencing any of the other symptoms for more than three weeks, it’s important to seek medical advice.

However, many of these symptoms overlap with less serious conditions – so there may be nothing to worry about. When it comes to problems like indigestion, cutting down on caffeinated beverages like tea or coffee and losing weight if you need to could easily solve the issue.

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