Gastric Cancer Facts and Statistics: What You Need to Know

In 2022, it was estimated that about 26,000 cases of gastric cancer would be diagnosed in the United States that year. Gastric cancer, also known as stomach cancer, has an overall five-year survival rate of 32%, but survival rates increase up to 70% if the cancer is caught at an early stage.

Both the rates of new diagnosis of gastric cancer and the death rate from gastric cancer have been declining. This article will highlight important facts to know about gastric cancer.   

Man sitting on stairs at home with stomach pain

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Gastric Cancer Overview 

Gastric cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells lining the stomach. The most common type of gastric cancer is adenocarcinoma, which is the type that will be reviewed in this article. Less common types of cancer affecting the stomach include gastrointestinal stromal tumors, carcinoid tumors, and gastric lymphoma.  

Although this article will focus on gastric adenocarcinoma in the United States, it is important to note that in other areas of the world, gastric cancer is much more frequent and is one of the most common causes of cancer deaths worldwide. It is most often found in eastern Europe, East Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Central America, and South America.

How Common Is Gastric Cancer?

Gastric cancer is not as common as many other cancers in the United States. It is currently ranked as the 15th most common type of cancer. The yearly rate of new cases of gastric cancer is higher in males than females, with 9.3 out of 100,000 males and 5.3 out of 100,000 females diagnosed annually.

Since the 1970s, the rate of new gastric cancers has been declining steadily at about 1.5% each year, and this trend looks to continue. It is currently diagnosed in 1.4% of the U. S. population. 

Gastric Cancer by Ethnicity 

Some groups are more likely to be diagnosed with gastric cancer. American Indians and Alaska Natives have a higher rate of incidence than other U.S. populations. The rates of gastric cancer per ethnicity are reviewed in the following table.

 Ethnicity Rate of Gastric Cancer (per 100,000 People)
American Indian/Alaska Native 9.9
Non-Hispanic Black 9.8
Asian/Pacific Islander 9.7
Hispanic 9.5
Non-Hispanic White 5.3

Gastric Cancer by Age and Gender

Gastric cancer is more likely to be found in males, who account for approximately 60% of all gastric cancer diagnoses. It is also a cancer that is generally diagnosed more frequently with increasing age. The average age at diagnosis is 68. The following table reviews how often age groups are diagnosed with gastric cancer. 

 Age Percent With Gastric Cancer
Under 20  0.1
20–34 1.7
35–44 4.8
45–54 11.3
55–64 22.5
65–74 27.9
75–84 21.4
Over 84 10.3

Causes of Gastric Cancer and Risk Factors 

Although the exact cause of gastric cancer is unknown, some risk factors have been identified. These risk factors include:

What Are the Mortality Rates for Gastric Cancer?

The mortality rate of gastric cancer has been steadily decreasing by about 2% every year since 2010. The average age of those who die from gastric cancer is 71. There is an increased risk of death in people age 65–74.

The risk of mortality increases when gastric cancer is diagnosed at a later stage. The following table describes the five-year relative survival rate for each stage of cancer. The stage of cancer is determined at the time of diagnosis.

 Cancer Stage Five-Year Survival Rate
Localized 70%
Regional 32%
Distant (metastatic) 6%
All stages combined 32%

The term "five-year survival rate" is often used when talking about cancer. This term describes the percentage of people who are still living five years after their diagnosis of cancer. It can differ from an individual's prognosis, which depends on factors such as whether cancer has spread, their overall health, and their response to treatment.

Rates of Death From Gastric Cancer by Ethnicity
 Ethnicity Annual Rate of Gastric Cancer Mortality (per 100,000 People in Each Group)
American Indian/Alaska Native 5.4
Non-Hispanic Black 5.1
Asian/Pacific Islander 4.9
Hispanic 4.8
Non-Hispanic White 2.2
This number is how many people in the general U.S. population (not just those with gastric cancer) in each of the named groups will die of gastric cancer in a year.

Screening and Early Detection

Gastric cancer used to be much more common in the United States than it is now. It’s likely that reduced tobacco use and improvements in diet, such as eating fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods (including preserved or smoked meats), have contributed to reduced risk.

Early detection and treatment of H. pylori is also another likely reason for the decreasing cases of gastric cancer.

There are no formal screening recommendations in the United States for gastric cancer. Screening may be recommended for those who are at higher risk of getting gastric cancer, but often testing is not done unless someone is having symptoms, such as:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Feeling full quickly when eating
  • Heartburn

The most commonly used screening tool is endoscopy. This procedure uses a camera at the end of a thin tube to look at the lining of the stomach directly. It can test for infection or take a biopsy (sample) of a suspicious area to analyze in the lab. 

There is no standard interval at which screening should be done, even for those at higher risk.


With improvement in diet and nutrition and other prevention measures, the number of cases and the overall mortality of gastric cancer has been declining steadily over the last few decades. This decline is expected to continue.

9 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. National Cancer Institute. Cancer stat facts: stomach cancer.

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  5. American Cancer Society. Cancer statistics center: stomach.

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  7. National Cancer Institute. Five-year survival rate.

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By Julie Scott, MSN, ANP-BC, AOCNP
Julie is an Adult Nurse Practitioner with oncology certification and a healthcare freelance writer with an interest in educating patients and the healthcare community.