Gastric cancer affects the stomach, the main part of the digestive system. There are five stages of stomach cancer, all with a different prognosis. All data are from the American Cancer Society, and based on a five-year survival rate. This takes into account the fact that a cancer patient may die from another cause within five years.
In Stage 0, abnormal cells have just been found in the stomach. The five-year survival rate for these patients is 89 per cent.
Once cancerous cells have formed in the stomach only, the survival rate is 78 per cent. If cancer is found in lymph nodes too, the rate decreases to 58 per cent.
During Stage II of stomach cancer, the cancer has most likely spread to the deep tissues of the stomach and lymph nodes. The five-year survival rate drops to 34 per cent.
In Stage IIIA, the cancer is found in deep parts of the stomach and several lymph nodes. The survival rate is 20 per cent. For Stage IIIB, when the cancer is in the outermost part of the stomach and more than seven lymph nodes, the rate drops to 8 per cent.
Stage IV is when cancer has spread to more than 15 lymph nodes or other organs in the body. The five-year survival rate for these patients is 7 per cent.