October 12, 2023

Symposium for patients, caregivers and family members offers important information on stomach cancer, Nov. 4

A Vanderbilt symposium on Nov. 4 offers detailed information for patients, caregivers and family members about stomach cancer.

A symposium — jointly sponsored by the No Stomach For Cancer Foundation and Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center — on Saturday, Nov. 4, offers detailed information for patients, caregivers and family members about stomach cancer — the fourth leading cause of cancer death globally.

It is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the eighth floor of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, 220 Pierce Ave., in Nashville. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided, and the symposium will be followed by an evening reception hosted by No Stomach for Cancer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Homewood Suites, 2400 West End Ave.

While its incidence has decreased in the United States over recent decades, stomach cancer or gastric cancer remains the fourth deadliest cancer worldwide. The five-year survival rate for stomach cancer is 35.7%, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). It is most common in Asia and the developing world, so immigrants to greater Nashville from Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe are at higher risk. According to a 2019 study by Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, risk factors do not diminish after relocating to low-incidence countries.

The incidence of stomach cancer is likely to continue to increase in Nashville, where nearly 12% of the population was born outside the U.S.  Nearly half are recent immigrants who entered the country since 2000, according to the Mayor’s Office of New Americans. Lifelong Americans, however, are also at risk — mainly as a result of infection by H. pylori, a bacterium that people can be infected with for years without symptoms. The NCI estimates that 26,500 new cases of stomach cancer will occur in the U.S. this year. The disease burden for both Hispanic and non-Hispanic black populations is nearly double that of white people.

The symposium focuses on early detection, innovation in treatment options, genetic considerations and innovations in research and survivorship — with the goal of educating broadly.

“Gastric cancer, although less common in the U.S. than other parts of the world, will occur in 26,500 people in 2023. But the impact is much broader, considering that the multimodality treatment broadly affects the quality of life of patients and their loved ones. This symposium aims to address all components of the gastric cancer process,” said Michael Gibson, MD, PhD, associate professor of Medicine.

To register to attend the event in person or virtually, go to  https://redcap.link/vanderbilt. Registration is requested by Oct. 20. The event, which is hosted by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and No Stomach For Cancer, is free to anyone impacted by gastric cancer regardless of where treatment was received.