Causes and Diagnoses

Causes and Diagnoses of Gastric Cancer

The cause of gastric cancer is unknown, but risk factors include:

  • Diet
  • Alcohol and tobacco use
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Gastric polyps
  • Ulcers
  • Exposure to certain industrial chemicals


Diagnosing stomach cancer begins with an assessment of your medical history and a physical exam. Your physician may also order diagnostic tests, including:

  • Fecal occult blood test to search for blood in your stool
  • Upper GI series using a barium swallow with X-ray
  • Upper endoscopy or gastroscopy using a thin, flexible and lighted tube called an endoscope
  • Endoscopic ultrasound sound imaging using a thin, flexible tube
  • Biopsy via gastroscope taking a small sample of tissue during a gastroscopy

Looking at the cells from a biopsy under a microscope is the only definitive way to diagnose stomach cancer.