Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, is a complex disease with various subtypes. Each type of stomach cancer has distinct characteristics, treatment approaches, and prognosis. Understanding the different types can help in better diagnosis, treatment planning, and patient care. This blog will explore the main types of stomach cancer and their unique features.


Adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer, accounting for about 90-95% of all cases. It begins in the glandular cells of the stomach lining, which produce mucus and other fluids. There are two main subtypes of adenocarcinoma:

Intestinal Type: This type is often associated with chronic gastritis and is more common in older adults. It tends to grow slowly and may be easier to detect in its early stages.

Diffuse Type: This type is less common but more aggressive. It spreads quickly within the stomach wall and is not as closely linked to environmental factors like diet. It can affect younger individuals and is harder to detect early.


Lymphomas are cancers that originate in the lymphatic system, a part of the body’s immune system. When lymphomas develop in the stomach, they are referred to as gastric lymphomas. Although rare, these cancers can be serious. There are two primary types:

 Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue (MALT) Lymphoma: This type is often linked to chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria. It grows slowly and can sometimes be treated with antibiotics if detected early.

 Diffuse Large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL): This type is more aggressive and requires more intensive treatment, including chemotherapy.

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST)

GISTs are rare tumors that arise from specialized cells in the stomach wall known as interstitial cells of Cajal. These cells help regulate the movement of food through the digestive tract. GISTs can vary in behavior from benign to highly malignant. Key points about GISTs include:

 Location: While GISTs can occur anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract, they are most commonly found in the stomach.

Treatment: Targeted therapies, such as imatinib (Gleevec), have been effective in treating GISTs, particularly those with specific genetic mutations.

Carcinoid Tumors

Carcinoid tumors are a type of neuroendocrine tumor that arises from hormone-producing cells in the stomach. They are generally slow-growing and often found incidentally during endoscopies for other conditions. There are different types based on their growth patterns and potential for spread:

Type I Carcinoids: These are the most common and usually benign. They are often associated with chronic atrophic gastritis.

Type II Carcinoids: These are rare and usually linked to a genetic condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Type III Carcinoids: These are sporadic, more aggressive, and have a higher potential to metastasize.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma is extremely rare in the stomach. It originates from the squamous cells that line the esophagus but can occasionally occur in the stomach. It is often more aggressive and difficult to treat due to its rarity and the lack of specific treatment protocols.

Small Cell Carcinoma

Small cell carcinoma of the stomach is another rare and aggressive type of cancer. It resembles small-cell lung cancer in appearance and behavior. Due to its aggressive nature, it typically requires a combination of chemotherapy and other treatments.

Understanding the various types of stomach cancer is crucial for accurate diagnosis and effective treatment. Each type has unique characteristics and requires a tailored approach to treatment. Early detection and specialized care are key to improving outcomes for patients with stomach cancer.

At LGI Hospital, our team of experts is dedicated to providing personalized and comprehensive care for all types of stomach cancer. If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms or have been diagnosed with stomach cancer, trust LGI Hospital for expert diagnosis, treatment, and support.

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