How common is gastrointestinal (GI) or stomach cancer?

Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

There are approximately 20,000 new cases of gastrointestinal (GI) or stomach cancer in the United States each year. Stomach cancer is more common in Japan and Eastern Asia that it is in Europe and North America. It is also more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians. Certain conditions can have increased risk of developing stomach cancer. These include chronic infection with the bacteria H. Pylori, pernicious anemia, diets rich in salt with smoked or poorly preserved foods, obesity and smoking. Certain hereditary conditions have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer including p53, BRCA, CDH-1, LYNCH syndrome, and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

Stomach cancer used to be one of the most common forms of cancer, but it's now been surpassed by lung cancer, colon cancer, and others.

Stomach cancer is relatively uncommon in the United States, and its rate of incidence has declined over the past decades. Experts believe this decline may be due, in part, to the reduced intake of salted, cured and smoked foods.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Stomach cancer strikes about one million people each year. It is especially common in other parts of the world—in Asia, in particular—and it was something we thought we did not have to worry about in the United States. However, recent reports have uncovered a disturbing new trend: a surprising rise in stomach cancer rates among young people in the United States, especially among African Americans and Latinos.

Continue Learning about Gastrointestinal Cancer

Surprising Ways Aspirin Protects Against Gastrointestinal Cancer
Surprising Ways Aspirin Protects Against Gastrointestinal Cancer
In addition to introducing Emily Wickersham as the future Agent Bishop, the broadcast of the NCIS episode, Gut Check, challenged the team’s newest ass...
Read More
The Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
The Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
In this video, gastroenterologist Dr. Robynne Chutkan explains the signs and symptoms of gastric cancer, otherwise known as stomach cancer. 
Read More
What types of cancer can start in the colon and rectum?
Dr. Vincent T DeVita JrDr. Vincent T DeVita Jr
Several types of cancer can start in the colon or rectum: 1. Adenocarcinomas: More than 95% of colo...
More Answers
How should I prepare for an appointment to diagnose carcinoid cancer?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
The first thing you should know when you go to an appointment to diagnose carcinoid cancer is that y...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.