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Cancer Snapshots: Disease Focused and Other Snapshots

  • Posted: 12/02/2013

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A Snapshot of Stomach Cancer

Incidence and Mortality

The overall incidence and mortality of stomach cancer in the United States have declined in the past 35 years. In 2013, it is estimated that 21,600 Americans will be diagnosed with stomach cancer and 10,990 will die of the disease.

The incidence and mortality rates of stomach cancer vary by race/ethnicity and by sex. Incidence rates are much lower among whites than among other U.S. racial/ethnic groups. Incidence rates are highest in American Indians/Alaska Natives, followed by Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and African Americans. Mortality rates are highest in Asians/Pacific Islanders and African Americans, followed by Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and whites. Stomach cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher in men than in women.

Risk factors for stomach cancer include Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, certain medical and genetic conditions, smoking, family history of stomach cancer, obesity, a diet high in salt or in smoked foods, and a diet low in fruits and vegetables. There is no standard or routine screening test for stomach cancer. Standard treatments for stomach cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy.

It is estimated that approximately $1.8 billion1 is spent in the United States each year on stomach cancer treatment.

Line graphs showing U.S. Stomach Cancer Incidence and mortality per 100,000, by race and ethnicity, between 1990-2010.  In 2010, American Indians/Alaska natives have the highest incidence, followed by Hispanics, Asians/Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and whites. In 2010, African Americans have the highest mortality, followed by Asians/Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and whites.

Examples of NCI Activities Relevant to Stomach Cancer

Selected Advances in Stomach Cancer Research

Pie chart of NCI Stomach Cancer Research Portfolio.  Percentage of total dollars by scientific area.  Fiscal year 2012.  Biology, 19%.  Etiology/causes of cancer, 37%.  Prevention, 10%.  Early detection, diagnosis, and prognosis, 11%.  Treatment, 6%.  Cancer control, survivorship, and outcomes research, 6%.  Scientific model systems, 11%.
  • Analysis of data from the HIV/AIDS Cancer Match Study revealed that carcinomas and non-Hodgkin lymphomas of the esophagus and stomach are among the cancers whose risk is increased in people with AIDS. Published July 2012. [PubMed Abstract]
  • Iron deficiency in rodents and humans was associated with increased H. pylori virulence and is a potential biomarker for the identification of H. pylori-infected individuals who are at high risk for developing gastric cancer. Published December 2012. [PubMed Abstract]
  • A 1-year follow-up analysis of participants in a clinical trial of H. pylori eradication programs for the prevention of gastric cancer found that the risk of reinfection after eradication may depend as much on the patient's adherence to initial therapy, study site, gender, and age as on the antibiotic regimen. Published February 2013. [PubMed Abstract]
  • Sixty-five H. pylori strains isolated from asymptomatic individuals and patients with gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and gastric cancer were genomically characterized, creating an important resource for future investigations into strain-specific gastric pathologies. Published May 2013. [PubMed Abstract]
  • See this PubMed list of selected free full-text journal articles on NCI-supported research relevant to stomach cancer. You can also search PubMed for additional scientific articles or to complete a search tutorial.

Trends in NCI Funding for Stomach Cancer Research

The National Cancer Institute's (NCI) investment2 in stomach cancer research increased from $12.4 million in fiscal year (FY) 2008 to $15.4 million in FY 2009 before decreasing to $12.1 million in FY 2012. In addition to this funding, NCI supported $2.2 million in stomach cancer research in FY 2009 and FY 2010 using funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Bar graph of NCI Stomach Cancer Research Investment in 2008-2012: Fiscal year (FY) 2008, $12.4 million Stomach Cancer Funding of $4.83 billion Total NCI Budget. FY 2009, $15.4 million Stomach Cancer Funding of $4.97 billion Total NCI Budget.  FY 2010, $14.5 million Stomach Cancer Funding of $5.10 billion Total NCI Budget.  FY 2011, $13.4 million Stomach Cancer Funding of $5.06 billion Total NCI Budget.  FY 2012, $12.1 million Stomach Cancer Funding of $5.07 billion Total NCI Budget.

Additional Resources for Stomach Cancer

  • 1 Cancer Trends Progress Report, in 2010 dollars.
  • 2 The estimated NCI investment is based on funding associated with a broad range of peer-reviewed scientific activities. For additional information on research planning and budgeting at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), see About NIH.