Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Natural history of "early" gastric cancer: results of a 10-year regional survey.

Br Med J 1980; 281 doi: (Published 11 October 1980) Cite this as: Br Med J 1980;281:965
  1. J W Fielding,
  2. D J Ellis,
  3. B G Jones,
  4. J Paterson,
  5. D J Powell,
  6. J A Waterhouse,
  7. V S Brookes


    In "early" gastric cancer the depth of invasion by the primary tumour is confined to the submucosa of the stomach. Out of 13228 cases of gastric cancer notified to the Birmingham Cancer Registry during 1960-9, 90 (0 . 7%) were identifed as early gastric cancer. The crude five-year survival rate of these 90 patients was 57 . 8% (age-adjusted rate 70 . 4%) compared with 3 . 7% (age-adjusted rate 4 . 7%) for all cases and 14 . 6% (age-adjusted rate 17 . 4%) for the cases treated radically. Prognostic factors established for gastric cancer pertained equally to early gastric cancer. Most of the 90 patients had had symptoms related to the gastrointestinal tract, but in contrast to patients with advanced gastric cancer only 19% had lost weight on admission. These findings suggest that early investigation of dyspeptic symptoms would increase the detection of early gastric cancer, the most important prognostic group identified in gastric cancer.