Stomach Cancer Prevention
Doctors cannot always explain why one person gets cancer and another doesn't. However, scientists have studied general patterns of cancer in the population to learn what things around us and what things we do in our lives may increase our chance of developing cancer.
Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a risk factor; anything that decreases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a protective factor. Some of the risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, although you can choose to quit smoking, you cannot choose which genes you have inherited from your parents. Both smoking and inheriting specific genes could be considered risk factors for certain kinds of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Prevention means avoiding the risk factors and increasing the protective factors that can be controlled so that the chance of developing cancer decreases.
Although many risk factors can be avoided, it is important to keep in mind that avoiding risk factors does not guarantee that you will not get cancer. Also, most people with a particular risk factor for cancer do not actually get the disease. Some people are more sensitive than others are to factors that can cause cancer. Talk to your doctor about methods of preventing cancer that might be effective for you.
Purposes of this summary on stomach cancer
The purposes of this summary on stomach cancer (gastric cancer) prevention are to:
You can talk to your doctor or health care professional about cancer prevention methods and whether these methods would be likely to help you.
Gastric cancer is cancer of the stomach. The most common type of stomach cancer is gastric adenocarcinoma, or cancer of the glandular tissue in the stomach. Other rarer forms of stomach cancer include lymphomas (cancer involving the lymphatic system) and sarcomas (cancer of the connective tissue, such as muscle, fat, or blood vessels).
Significance of stomach cancer
Over most of the century, the frequency of gastric cancer has been decreasing. Over the past several years, the number of new cases of gastric cancer in the United States seems to be steady, while the number of deaths has greatly decreased. There has continued to be a decrease in cancer arising in the part of the stomach that is closest to the duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). However, cancer at the junction between the esophagus and stomach is on the increase.
Stomach cancer (gastric) prevention
Gastric cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors for the disease. Many risk factors are modifiable though not all can be avoided.
Source: National Cancer Institute, www.cancer.gov
Last Editorial Review: 1/5/2006