Do not ignore the persistent belching, pain or discomfort in the upper abdomen, or bloated feeling after a light meal. These general symptoms could mean poor digestion or point to something more serious like stomach cancer.

The good news is early stage stomach cancer is curable. Survival rate is as high as 80 per cent, but drops to 10 per cent at the advanced stage.

Also known as gastric cancer, stomach cancer is the 7th cancer affecting men and 9th cancer affecting women in Singapore, according to the Singapore Cancer Registry Interim Annual Report: "Trends In Cancer Incidence​ in Singapore" 2010-2014. More than 500 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer here every year.

“People with chronic gastritis, past surgery for stomach ulcers or a family history of the disease stand a higher risk of getting stomach cancer. Patients with pernicious anaemia or chronic Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach ​are also at risk,” says Dr Matthew Ng Chau Hsien, Consultant, Department of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), a member of the SingHealth group.​

If you fall into any of these categories, talk to your doctor about getting an upper endoscopy during routine health screening, since early stage cancer doesn’t show symptoms.​

Ref: S13​ ​​