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Stomach Cancer Risk Factors and Prevention

The doctors at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center are experts on each type of stomach cancer. We can help diagnose and treat any type of stomach cancer.

What Are Stomach Cancer Risk Factors?

While there are different types of stomach cancer, the following may increase your risk of developing stomach cancer:

  • Gender: Stomach cancer affects men twice as often as it affects women
  • Age: Stomach cancer is most common among people over the age of 55
  • Race: Stomach cancer is more commonly found in African Americans than in Caucasians
  • Region: This type of cancer is more common in certain parts of the world where drying, smoking, salting or pickling foods is more common. These regions may include parts of Eastern Europe, Japan, Korea and Latin America
  • Genetics: Inherited genetic mutations, including BRCA 1, BRCA 2 and CDH1 can increase your risk of developing stomach cancer. Additionally, having familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or lynch syndrome can also increase your risk of stomach cancer
  • Diet: A diet high in processed, salty or smoked foods can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer
  • Obesity: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer
  • Smoking: Smokers are at a higher risk of developing any cancer, including stomach cancer
  • Helicobacter pylori infection: Having a long-term H. Pylori infection can lead to inflammation and pre-cancerous changes in the stomach lining 
  • Stomach polyps: People with pernicious anemia may develop stomach polyps, which can increase the risk of stomach cancer
  • Epstein-Barr virus infection: Epstein-Barr is found in about 5 to 10 percent of people with stomach cancer

If you have any of these risk factors and think you may be at risk for developing stomach cancer, schedule an appointment with your Banner Health care provider.

How Can I Prevent Stomach Cancer?

There is no set cause of stomach cancer, therefore there is no set way to prevent it. However, these lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of stomach cancer:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Reducing the amount of salty and smoked foods that are consumed
  • Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed
  • Quitting smoking

If you have any of these risk factors and are concerned that you may have stomach cancer, contact us to schedule an appointment today.

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