Quality of life (QOL) was evaluated in 162 patients having radical gastrectomy for cancer. The results showed that more than half of the patients had a good appetite; they consumed a normal diet and a normal volume of food. Approximately 60% of the patients had weight loss of more than 5 kg. Patients who underwent a total gastrectomy had poor tolerance of normal food and frequent eating and body weight loss versus those who had a subtotal gastrectomy. Patients who underwent Billroth II reconstruction after a distal subtotal gastrectomy lost more body weight than those with a Billroth I anastomosis. The extent of lymphadenectomy did not influence the QOL. Patients under 65 years of age had a better QOL. Nearly all patients had normal work and daily living activities. Some patients appeared to lack energy or had a period of anxiety or depression. These data indicate that radical gastrectomy can be performed with an acceptable QOL for a potentially curable gastric carcinoma.