The 5-year relative survival rate for stomach cancer is 35.7%. However, individual survival rates vary depending on factors such as a person’s overall health and the stage of the disease.

The above figure comes from National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program (SEER).

A relative survival rate helps give an idea of how long a person with a particular condition may live after receiving a diagnosis in comparison with people without the condition.

For example, if the 5-year relative survival rate is 70%, it means a person with the condition is 70% as likely to live for 5 years as someone without the condition.

It is important to remember that these figures are estimates. With early diagnosis and treatment, a person’s outlook is more positive. A person can consult a healthcare professional about how their condition is going to affect them.

This article discusses stomach cancer survival rates based on cancer stage, age, and other factors.

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According to SEER, the 5-year relative survival rate for people with stomach cancer is 33.3%. This figure is based on data collected from 2012 to 2018.

Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, caused 769,000 deaths worldwide in 2020. Additionally, it was the sixth most common cancer worldwide and the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in 2020.

New treatments and genetic tests for stomach cancer may mean that people are more likely receive earlier diagnoses. As a result, survival rates for stomach cancer have been gradually improving each year.

The cancer stage at diagnosis refers to the extent of the cancer in the body. It helps doctors determine the treatment options and has a strong influence on the survival rate.

However, the numbers can change if the cancer grows, spreads, or returns after treatment.

The SEER database divides cancers into three stages:

  • Localized: This stage of the disease is called carcinoma in situ, which means that abnormal cells are in the surface of the stomach wall and have not spread to any other parts of the body.
  • Regional: Cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues but not to other parts of the body.
  • Distant: The cancer is advanced and has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, brain, or liver. This means the 5-year relative survival rate is much lower.

Depending on the stage of the person’s stomach cancer, the 5-year relative survival rates are as follows:

Stage 5-year survival rate (all races and sexes)FemalesMales
unknown stage25.4%

Stomach cancer is more likely to affect older adults.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that about 6 in 10 people with a stomach cancer diagnoses are over 65. Additionally, the average age at diagnosis is 68.

The 5-year relative survival rates by age group are as follows:

Age rangeFemalesMales
over 7528.925.2%

The ACS states that stomach cancer is more common in the following groups of people:

  • Hispanic Americans
  • African Americans
  • Native Americans
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders

The 5-year relative survival rates based on race or ethnicity are as follows:

Race/ethnicity 5-year relative survival rate (all stages)
Hispanic, any race29.7%
non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native19.6%
non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander37.6%
non-Hispanic Black33.8%
non-Hispanic white33.3%
Black, including Hispanic33.9%
white, including Hispanic32.0%

A variety of factors may affect an individual’s chance of surviving stomach cancer, such as:

  • the stage of the cancer
  • the person’s age
  • the person’s overall health
  • how well the cancer responds to treatment

The outlook after receiving a stomach cancer diagnosis is generally poor. When the cancer spreads to deeper tissues in the stomach, the relative 5-year survival rate falls to 32.9%.

Once the stomach cancer reaches distant organs, the survival rate drops to 5.9%. For this reason, early diagnosis is key to improving the outlook for individuals with stomach cancer.

Additionally, stomach cancer survival rates will vary depending on various factors, including the stage of cancer, the person’s age at diagnosis, and how early a doctor makes the diagnosis.