Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, occurs when an abnormal groups of cells accumulate and form a mass in a part of your stomach. Approximately 732,000 cancer-related deaths are caused by stomach cancer each year globally, making it the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths and the fifth most common cancer around the world.
Most people who are diagnosed with stomach cancer either already have metastasis - when the cancer spreads from the area where it first developed - or eventually develop it. Furthermore, between 90% and 95% of all stomach cancers are adenocarcinoma of the stomach, meaning the cancer develops from the cells that form the lining of your stomach that produces mucus.
So what are the biggest stomach cancer risk factors? Read on to find out…
Eight risk factors tied to stomach cancer
Regular, long-term smokers have a 50% higher risk of developing stomach cancer
compared with non-smokers.
#2: Certain medical conditions
Medical conditions such as oesophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic stomach ulcer, chronic gastritis, stomach polyps and Barrett’s oesophagus are all linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer.
Your risk of developing stomach cancer shoots up significantly after age 55.
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#4: Family history
As with all cancers, having a close relative who has or has had stomach cancer boosts your risk of developing it, too.
#5: Helicobacter pylori infection
While this bacterium is harmless in most cases, sometimes it can cause infection and stomach infection, which pose some risk in the development of stomach cancer.
#6: Some surgical procedures
Surgeries to your stomach or parts of your body that affect your stomach are risky in terms of stomach cancer.
#7: Previous or existing cancers
People who have or have had cancers such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma or oesophagus cancer are more likely to develop stomach cancer. Men who have or have had bladder, testicular or prostate cancer
also have a higher risk.
Studies have linked eating foods such as salty foods, pickled vegetables, salted fish and smoked meats to an elevated risk of stomach cancer.
There you have it – eight stomach cancer risk factors you should familiarise with.
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