Understanding Stomach Cancer
Many different factors can put someone at risk of developing stomach cancer. For example, men are more likely to develop stomach cancer than women.
The risk of getting stomach cancer also increases with age, as most cases are diagnosed in individuals between 60 and 80 and those with a family history of the disease. While the aforementioned are uncontrollable risk factors, there are some things you can do to help reduce your risk.
Warning Signs and Symptoms
Early detection is paramount to increasing your chances of survival. If you’re persistently experiencing any of the following symptoms, you must reach out to your doctor as soon as possible.
- Bloating after eating
- Feeling full after eating a small amount of food
- Persistent heartburn
- Constant indigestion
- Persistent vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
The following risk factors can increase your chances of developing stomach cancer:
- Lack of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- A diet high in salty or smoked foods.
- Consistent problems with stomach inflammation.
- Being infected with Helicobacter pylori (a bacteria that lives in the digestive tract that can cause sores and ulcers).
- Diagnosis of pernicious anemia (this happens when your body cannot make enough healthy red blood cells due to lack of vitamin B-12). When lacking the stomach protein called IF (intrinsic factor), your body cannot absorb vitamin B-12.
- Polyps in the stomach.
How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Stomach Cancer
The cause of stomach cancer has not yet been established. However, incorporating the following healthy habits and lifestyle changes can help you reduce your risk:
- Exercise regularly
- Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet
- Limit your intake of salty and smoked foods
- Quit smoking
- Talk to your doctor to determine your risk of developing stomach cancer
Early detection saves lives. If you are concerned about your risk of developing stomach cancer, having regular checkups and screenings can help you find it early and increase your chances of survival. For more information about reducing your risk of stomach cancer, contact the Parrish Cancer Center today at 321-529-6202 to learn more about our comprehensive cancer care program.