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Stomach Cancer Survival Rates and Prognosis

Photo of a doctor sitting at a desk speaking with a patient.

Your doctor can discuss your prognosis–the likely outcome of your cancer–with you. Some people like to have a loved one or friend with them for the conversation. 

Credit: iStock

If you’ve been diagnosed with stomach cancer, you may have questions about how serious the cancer is and your chances of survival. The likely outcome or course of a disease is called prognosis.     

The prognosis for stomach cancer depends on

  • the stage of the cancer, including whether the cancer is only in the stomach or has spread to lymph nodes or other places in the body  
  • your overall health  

When stomach cancer is found early, there is a better chance of recovery. Stomach cancer is often advanced when it is diagnosed. At advanced stages, stomach cancer can be treated but is rarely cured. Learn more about Stomach Cancer Treatment.

Survival rates for stomach cancer

Doctors estimate stomach cancer prognosis by using statistics collected over many years from people with stomach cancer. One statistic that is commonly used in making a prognosis is the 5-year relative survival rate. The 5-year relative survival rate tells you what percent of people with the same type and stage of stomach cancer are alive 5 years after their cancer was diagnosed, compared with people in the overall population. For example, the 5-year relative survival rate for stomach cancer is 36%. This means that, overall, people diagnosed with stomach cancer are 36% as likely as similar people who do not have stomach cancer to be alive 5 years after diagnosis.

Stomach Cancer Statistics

Learn more about statistics for stomach cancer from our Cancer Stat Facts Collection, including new cases, survival rates, and who is most affected.

The 5-year relative survival rates for different stages of stomach cancer are:

  • 75% for localized stomach cancer (cancer is in the stomach only)
  • 35% for regional stomach cancer (cancer has spread beyond the stomach to nearby lymph nodes or organs)
  • 7% for metastatic stomach cancer (cancer has spread beyond the stomach to a distant part of the body)

Understanding survival rate statistics

Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to you. The doctor who knows the most about your situation is in the best position to discuss these statistics and talk with you about your prognosis. It is important to note the following when reviewing survival statistics:    

  • No two people are alike, and responses to treatment can vary greatly.
  • Survival statistics use information collected from large groups of people who may have received different types of treatment.
  • It takes several years to see the effect of newer and better treatments, so current survival statistics may not reflect newer treatments.

To learn more about survival statistics and to see videos of patients and their doctors exploring their feelings about prognosis see Understanding Cancer Prognosis.  

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