Stomach Cancer: Know The Enemy
The World Digestive Health Day (29th May) is approaching quickly. One of the major and most dangerous conditions striking the digestive system is gastric/stomach cancer. We’d like to give you some information about it, some statistics, symptoms, prevention and recovery options.
But first, let’s start with some good news: FindMeCure’s database shows 348 clinical trials worldwide for gastric cancer, which means a potential treatment might be on its way.Find Clinical Trials For Stomach Cancer
Now, the statistics:
- According to the World Health Organisation around one third of deaths from cancer are due to the 5 leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, and alcohol use.
- Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer and is responsible for approximately 22% of cancer deaths. It’s also considered one of the leading causes of gastric cancer specifically.
- Economic factors play a huge role in diagnose and recovery, as approximately 70% of deaths from cancer occur in low- and middle-income countries and only 1 in 5 of those countries have the necessary data to drive cancer policy.
- According to the American Cancer Society’s estimates, gastric cancer is more prevalent and more lethal in men than women and it mostly affects older people – the average age of people diagnosed with this type of cancer is 69.
- The average risk that a person will develop gastric cancer in their lifetime is approximately 1 in 111, but keep in mind that this number can be affected by a variety of other factors.
- Stomach cancer is more common in less developed countries and it’s a leading cause of cancer-related death.
- However, the survival rate in the US has been gradually Improving over the last 30 years, and as our database shows, a significant number of clinical trials (most of which in the third stage) means a better chance of finding a cure in the near future.
It is generally hard to find a single cause for developing a disease, most of the time there are several factors, called risk factors, which can play a role. However, even though limiting the risk factors is always a good idea, not having any of them doesn’t mean perfect health is guaranteed. Consult your doctor if after reading this list you think you might be at risk.
- Having any of the following medical conditions: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach; Chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach); Pernicious anemia; Intestinal metaplasia (a condition in which the normal stomach lining is replaced with the cells that line the intestines); Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or gastric polyps.
- A diet high in salted and/or smoked foods and low in fruits and vegetables
- Eating foods that have not been properly prepared or stored
- Having someone in your immediate family (mother, father or a sibling) who has had gastric cancer
Having some of those symptoms does not necessarily mean you have stomach cancer, but it could be a sign of some other condition, so if more than one of the following is a persisting occurrence, consult your doctor – early diagnose is among the leading factors in recovery.
- In the early stages, some of the symptoms might be: indigestion and stomach discomfort; a bloated feeling after eating; mild nausea; loss of appetite; frequent and persistent heartburn
- In the more advanced stages: blood in the stool; vomiting; weight loss for no known reason; stomach pain; jaundice (yellowing of eyes and skin); ascites (build-up of fluid in the abdomen); trouble swallowing.
- Some general symptoms to consider: fatigue; feeling full after eating only a small amount of food
Well, unfortunately, it is yet unknown if there is a certain thing you can do or a lifestyle to lead in order to guarantee you’ll never have cancer. You also can’t specifically prevent one particular type of cancer… for now. However, you can improve your health and lower the risk of developing a disease in general by:
- maintaining a healthy weight
- eating a balanced, low-fat diet
- quitting smoking (more on that on the 31st of May, World No Tobacco Day)
- exercising regularly (find a physical activity you enjoy, so you can stick with it)
- regular check-ups at the doctor’s
Article by Nelly Katsarova
If you or your beloved one is looking for more treatment options, check out the available clinical trials on FindMeCure.