Gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) is the point where the distal esophagus joins the proximal stomach (cardia). It is a short area that is typically exposed to the effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) caused by Helicobacter pylori infection.
Stomach cancer typically starts in the mucus-producing cells lining the stomach; this form of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma. Cancer in the area where the top part of the stomach, the cardia, meets the lower end of the swallowing tube, the esophagus, is called GEJ cancer and has become much more common in recent years. Some gastric adenocarcinomas may behave like cancers in the esophagus and may be treated as such, so they are often grouped with esophageal cancers.
Chronic inflammation is generally considered the underlying stimulus for the development of changes in the lining of the esophageal and stomach lining GEJ. Signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal junction cancer and stomach cancer may include the following:
- Bloating after eating
- Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
- Severe and persistent heartburn
- Severe and persistent indigestion
- Unexplained and persistent nausea
- Stomach pain
- Persistent vomiting
- Unintentional weight loss