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The role of tumor size should not be neglected in the management of gastric cancer and its prognostic value needs precise reevaluation.The survival data of 513 patients who underwent radical resection between 2000 and 2005 were collected retrospectively. Tumor size, measured as the maximum diameter of tumor, was categorized into four subgroups (≤2, ≤3, ≤5, >5 cm) using the method of minimizing the estimated average expected distance (AED) objective function. The prognostic value of tumor size and the correlation between tumor size and other clinicopathologic factors were investigated.In multivariate analysis, status of lymph nodes (P < 0.001), depth of invasion (P < 0.001), type of resection (P = 0.004), age (P = 0.008), tumor size (P = 0.014), and perioperative blood transfusion (P = 0.034) were confirmed as independent prognostic predictors for patients with gastric cancer. Log linear model suggested that the status of lymph nodes and the depth of invasion associated with the tumor size significantly.The tumor size is a non-neglectable independent prognostic factor for patients with gastric cancer and more attention should be paid to its role in the management of gastric cancer.