It’s uncommon, but cancer in any one of the organs located in the abdomen—the liver, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, or ovaries—can cause stomach pain, but usually only in the later stages, says Dr. Alaradi.
And there are usually other symptoms, like a loss of appetite, weight loss, persistent vomiting, persistent bloating of the abdomen, and recent changes in bowel habits. “If a person is used to going to the bathroom once a day and it’s changed in the past few weeks to one every three to four days, that deserves attention,” says Dr. Alaradi.
Dr. Raymond agrees. “Unfortunately, cancer pain feels like a lot of the pain of the upper body,” she says. “It’s non-specific feeling, so an upper endoscopy or X-ray is best way to tell.”
Still, stomach cancer is not common is the United States. According the the American Cancer Society, there is a 1 in 111 risk that someone will develop stomach cancer in their lifetime. Plus, 6 out of 10 cases occur in people ages 65 and up.