A horrible way to die. Gastric cancer is a bad cancer to have because it can present late and also because it may seem like a gastric ulcer in its early stages (even in responding to ulcer medication).
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is thought to raise the risk of gastric cancer.
The only cure is surgical resection. The common operations performed are Billroth I and Billroth II gastrectomies. Surgeons nowadays will do laparoscopy first to have a look around the abdominal cavity for metastases before the formal laparotomy for the gastrectomy. If metastases are found, the gastrectomy is abandoned and the patient is referred to palliative care.
Gastric cancer is more common amongst Asians, particularly Japanese. The reason is uncertain but diet has been implicated.