In the Spotlight
Stomach Cancer: Symptoms, Risks, Prevention
Small changes can reduce big risks
Stomach cancer can be considered rare compared to other types of cancer. The disease occurs when normally healthy cells within the upper digestive system become cancerous and grow out of control, forming a tumor. Stomach cancer tends to develop over many years and doesn't typically have early signs or symptoms. It's important to know how you can lower your risk of developing it.
Signs and symptoms
It's always good to know what symptoms to look for when you're concerned about an illness or disease. Like other cancers, finding stomach cancer in an earlier stage can help make treatment more comfortable and more successful. In the earlier stages, stomach cancer can cause:
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms frequently, talk to your health care team by signing in and sending a Secure Message.
Know the risks
Knowing what can cause those symptoms is just as important as noticing that you have them. We all have certain things we enjoy in our lives, but sometimes those lifestyle choices can harm us. Lifestyle choices that can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer are:
eating a lot of salty or processed foods
eating too much meat
having a history of alcohol abuse
not storing or cooking food properly
It's also important to know that stomach cancer is more common among:
older adults, usually people 50 years and older
people with a family history of the disease
people who are of Asian, South American, or Belarusian descent
You may want to talk to your doctor about getting a screening test if you believe you're at risk of developing stomach cancer.
Reduce your chances
They're some things you can't change like your age, race, and family history. You can change your diet and exercise habits to reduce your risks. Some things you can try as preventative measures are:
eating a more plant-based diet
limiting the amount processed and high-fat meats you eat
maintaining a healthy weight
limiting your alcohol intake
avoiding tobacco use
These small changes can make a big impact on your chances of developing stomach cancer and on your overall health. If you have any questions or concerns regarding stomach cancer, don't hesitate to contact your health care team.
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Created November 18, 2019