Most often, stomach cancer affects middle-aged to older adults, according to a 2004 case report published in the scientific journal Gastric Cancer. However, the researchers outlined a rare case of stomach cancer in a 13-year-old girl who began experiencing weakness, fatigue, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, unusual pain during her period, and quickly becoming full when eating. Such symptoms emerged over the course of two months. The teenager reported that during this time she had not experienced bloating or nausea, two of the more common symptoms of the early stages of symptomatic stomach cancer. Rather, many of her symptoms were indicative of more advanced stages of gastric cancer. Later-stage symptoms can include trouble swallowing, unexplained weight loss, and stomach pain, as well as jaundice, blood in one’s stool, vomiting, and more.
This case report demonstrates how the disease often presents as asymptomatic during earlier stages. Presently, routine stomach cancer screenings have not been established in the U.S., as these tests are still in development. For high-risk patients, an upper endoscopy procedure may alternatively be suggested. Speak to your doctor if you believe you may be at an increased risk for stomach cancer or if you develop any persistent gastrointestinal symptoms.