Stomach cancer is also referred to as gastric cancer. It occurs when a group of cells that are cancerous converge in one part of the stomach, eventually resulting in cancer. The stomach cancer affects the cells that form the mucosa, a line in the stomach that produces mucus that aids in digestion. Although gastric cancer is quite rare, especially in developed countries, it is still life threatening and comes in second in cancer-related mortality. However, gastric cancer has relatively dropped over the past few years due to better living and improvement of lifestyle.
Causes of cancer of the stomach
Poor dieting has been linked to gastric cancer. Doctors and cancer specialists have advised people always to be mindful of what they eat. Foods like smoked beef, salted fish, and pickled vegetables, will increase chances of one developing cancer. Asian countries such as Japan are mostly affected by stomach cancer since their diet mainly comprises of foods that promote the growth of gastric cancer cells. Nutritionists recommend a diet rich in fiber, coupled with fruits and vegetables to help prevent this type of cancer.
Chances of one getting gastric cancer are usually high if a member of the family or a close relative suffers from this condition. It might be a brother, sister or one of the parent. In such cases, members of that particular family are usually advised to seek genetic counseling. In a study, it was found that in every 50 cases, one was found to contain a mutation gene called E-cadherin. Also, individuals with blood group A are at a higher risk of getting gastric cancer.
Use of tobacco
Certain lifestyles picked like smoking of tobacco, increases chances of getting gastric cancer. Smokers are prone to get cancer of the stomach, especially the upper stomach near the esophagus where the smoke gets close to the stomach. The harmful content in the smoke increases the chances of a smoker developing cancer of the stomach as compared to those of a non-smoker. Doctors have discouraged such behaviors so as to cut down on such cases.
Individuals that have undergone surgery, or have had part of their stomach removed probably as a result of other illnesses like ulcers and growths, are more likely to get stomach cancer. This is because their stomach produces an insufficient amount of acid that would help prevent nitrite forming bacteria, which helps breed cancer cells. Doctors recommend that a follow-up is done after surgery and if anything abnormal is noticed, one should seek medical attention immediately.