A GASTRIC cancer of small size always arouses the hope that it is more amenable to therapy and possesses a better prognosis than gastric cancer in general. Do the facts justify this hope? Does the small gastric cancer differ in any way from gastric cancers of all sizes? Can it be removed more safely? Are survival rates better for small cancers? Analysis of records of a group of small gastric cancers has in general provided affirmative answers to these questions.
During the years 1940 to 1945, inclusive, 924 adenocarcinomas of the stomach were treated by gastric resection at the Mayo Clinic. In 226 of these, the greatest diameter measured 4 cm. or less. Thus, gastric cancer of this size accounts for about one quarter of all gastric cancer treated by resection. The importance of this group in the over-all survival rate of patients with gastric cancer is obvious.For