Gastric and Oesophageal Cancer

Gastric cancer is cancer that develops in the stomach.

Oesophageal cancer is cancer that develops in the oesophagus, also known as the food pipe.

Compare country data about gastric and oesophageal cancer (prevalence, screening, public health plans and much more) in our DataMap.

The stomach is a J-shaped organ in the upper abdomen. It is part of the digestive system, which processes nutrients (vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, and water) in foods that are eaten and helps pass waste material out of the body.  Food moves from the throat to the stomach through a hollow, muscular tube called the oesophagus.  After leaving the stomach, partly-digested food passes into the small intestine and then into the large intestine.

The wall of the stomach is made up of 3 layers of tissue: the mucosal (innermost) layer, the muscularis (middle) layer, and the serosal (outermost) layer.  Gastric cancer begins in the cells lining the mucosal layer and spreads through the outer layers as it grows.

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