Six warning signs of stomach cancer revealed


Loss of appetite, feeling sick and having no energy are all warning signs of stomach cancer. 

There are around 4,200 deaths due to tumours in the stomach in the UK every year, says Cancer Research, while there are about 11,130 in the US. 

But symptoms of the cancer can be hard to spot, according to the NHS.  

This week, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber shared the ‘devastating’ news that his eldest son Nicholas, 43, is ‘critically ill’ in hospital battling gastric cancer.

Following the 74-year-old’s heartbreaking statement, MailOnline reveals the warning signs of stomach cancer.  

As pictured above, having no energy, unintentionally losing weight, constant indigestion, difficulty swallowing, feeling sick and a lump at the top of your tummy are all warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer As pictured above, having no energy, unintentionally losing weight, constant indigestion, difficulty swallowing, feeling sick and a lump at the top of your tummy are all warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

As pictured above, having no energy, unintentionally losing weight, constant indigestion, difficulty swallowing, feeling sick and a lump at the top of your tummy are all warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer

Indigestion 

Indigestion usually goes away on its own. 

But if you find that it is long-lasting, it may be a sign of cancer, experts say. 

It is often caused by acid from the stomach irritating the stomach lining or throat — called acid reflux.

This is common and not usually caused by cancer, with certain food and drink, stress or medication often acting as triggers.

But it can also be a sign the cancer has spread to the tissue lining your abdomen, which can cause a build up of fluid, says Cancer Research UK.   

The NHS advises seeing your doctor if you have had heartburn most days for three weeks or more. 

‘I am absolutely devastated’: Heartbroken Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals his eldest son Nicholas, 43, is ‘critically ill’ with stomach cancer

‘I am absolutely devastated’: Heartbroken Andrew Lloyd Webber reveals his eldest son Nicholas, 43, is ‘critically ill’ with stomach cancer

Sad: Andrew revealed Nicholas (left) , whom he shares with ex-wife Sarah Hugill, has been suffering from the disease for the last 18-months Sad: Andrew revealed Nicholas (left) , whom he shares with ex-wife Sarah Hugill, has been suffering from the disease for the last 18-months

Sad: Andrew revealed Nicholas (left) , whom he shares with ex-wife Sarah Hugill, has been suffering from the disease for the last 18-months 

Having no energy

Feeling tired all the time and getting breathless could be a warning sign of stomach cancer.

This is because fatigue can be down to low levels of red blood cells, according to Cancer Research. 

Early and advanced stomach cancer can bleed into the stomach, which reduces the number of red blood cells in your blood over time. 

This can make sufferers feel tired, weak and breathless because their blood is carrying less oxygen. It can also lead to passing blood in stool, which may appear darker and almost black.

A lack of red blood cells can also give you pale skin and heart palpitations, according to the NHS.

Weight loss 

Losing weight when you are not trying to is a common sign of cancer. 

With stomach cancer, this could be due to several reasons including a loss of appetite and feeling full after eating just small amounts, according to Cancer Research. 

This may be caused by a tumour in or around parts of the gastrointestinal tract, says the American Cancer Society. 

Or it could be caused by cachexia — changes in the way the body uses proteins, carbohydrates and fat, leading to fat and muscle loss due to a severe illness.

In cancer patients, medics believe cachexia is caused by the chemicals that tumours release.

But unintentional weight loss is a common symptom of many different types of cancer.

And it can occur in the advanced stages of other illnesses, such as heart and kidney disease, as well as HIV. 

Along with cancer, it can occur in the advanced stages of illness, such as heart and kidney disease, as well as HIV. Scientists don't fully understand the mechanisms behind cachexia Along with cancer, it can occur in the advanced stages of illness, such as heart and kidney disease, as well as HIV. Scientists don't fully understand the mechanisms behind cachexia

Along with cancer, it can occur in the advanced stages of illness, such as heart and kidney disease, as well as HIV. Scientists don’t fully understand the mechanisms behind cachexia

Difficulty swallowing 

Stomach cancer can cause difficulty swallowing. 

A tumour in or around the stomach could cause pain and a burning sensation when you swallow.

It can also make your food stick in your throat or chest, according to Cancer Research UK. 

Difficulty swallowing can also lead to weight loss, simply because you are unable to eat enough.

Although other conditions such as acid reflux can cause these symptoms, experts urge people who have difficulty swallowing to get it checked by a doctor.  

Feeling sick

Feeling and being sick could be caused by many illnesses, but it is also a warning sign of stomach cancer. 

The cancer can cause a blockage in the stomach making it hard to keep food down, says Cancer Research.

This blockage stops food from passing through your digestive system which can make you feel sick. 

The cancer charity says that although there is rarely blood in the vomit, if it is red, it could be a sign of fresh bleeding.

But, if it is dark brown ‘like used coffee grounds’ it could mean the blood has been in the stomach for a while, experts say.  

Stomach cancer can cause a blockage in the stomach making it hard to keep food down, says Cancer Research. The blockage stops food from passing through your digestive system which can make you feel sick Stomach cancer can cause a blockage in the stomach making it hard to keep food down, says Cancer Research. The blockage stops food from passing through your digestive system which can make you feel sick

Stomach cancer can cause a blockage in the stomach making it hard to keep food down, says Cancer Research. The blockage stops food from passing through your digestive system which can make you feel sick

A lump at the top of your tummy 

A lump or pain at the top of your tummy is a sign of stomach cancer, the NHS warns. 

This pain or lump could be a sign that the cancer has spread to the tissue that lines the abdomen.

The resultant build up of fluid in the lining of the abdomen — called ascites — can make you feel bloated or your clothes feel tighter. 

The lump or swelling can make it uncomfortable to sit, move around and eat, which can lead to a loss of appetite.