Treatments for stage 1 stomach cancer

Last medical review:

The following are treatment options for stage 1 stomach cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan.


Surgery is the main treatment for stage 1 stomach cancer. For stage 1A stomach cancer, surgery is usually the only treatment needed.

A gastrectomy removes all or part of the stomach. Some lymph nodes around the stomach are also removed (called a lymph node dissection). This is the most common type of surgery done to treat stage 1 cancer. The type of gastrectomy done depends on the size of the tumour and where the cancer is within the stomach.

An endoscopic resection (ER) uses an endoscope and surgical tools to remove a tumour from the stomach. It is a very specialized surgery that may be used to treat small (2 cm or smaller) stage 1A tumours that are at a low risk of spreading to nearby lymph nodes.

A limited surgical resection removes a section of the stomach wall that contains the abnormal area along with some healthy tissue around it (called the surgical margin). This may be used to treat small tumours (smaller than 3 cm) without any ulceration (no open wound).

Chemoradiation or chemotherapy

Chemoradiation or chemotherapy may be offered for stage 1 stomach cancer. You may be given:

  • chemoradiation after surgery (adjuvant chemoradiation)
  • chemotherapy alone after surgery (adjuvant chemotherapy)
  • chemotherapy both before and after surgery (perioperative chemotherapy)

Fluorouracil (also called 5-fluorouracil or 5-FU) is often used alone or in combination with other drugs for stage 1 stomach cancer.

Clinical trials

Talk to your doctor about clinical trials open to people with stomach cancer in Canada. Clinical trials look at new ways to prevent, find and treat cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

Expert review and references

  • Michael Sanatani , MD, FRCPC

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

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