How To Minimize The Risk Of Gastric Cancer?  – Stomach cancer is the second most typical cause of cancer-related deaths in Indian women and men. Males are affected more than Females. In India southern part has a high incidence when compared to other areas. The stomach is a thick muscular bag which receives food through the oesophagus. The food is mixed with acid, mucus and some enzymes made into a thick paste and is pushed down into the small intestine for further digestion. Only 1 in 5 – 6 stomach cancers are detected early. Dr K Sreekanth, Sr. Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, shares 12 risk factors of gastric cancer.

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RISK FACTORS OR CAUSES OF GASTRIC CANCER

  1. Previously underwent stomach surgery for an ulcer 15 25 years ago. This procedure caused the stomach’s acid production to decrease, which allowed the bacteria that produce nitrite to flourish.
  2. Consumption of highly salted, smoked, and pickled foods is carcinogenic due to nitrates and nitrites.
  3. Pernicious Anemia Anemia because of Vitamin B12 deficiency due to a lack of intrinsic factors
  4. Long-term infection with Helicobacter Pylori – Chronic Atrophic gastritis
  5. Long-term stomach inflammation due to any cause
  6. Diets low in fruits and vegetables
  7. Family history of gastric cancer
  8. Obesity and overweight
  9. Type ‘A’ blood group
  10. Alcohol intake
  11. Gastric polyps
  12. Smoking

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF GASTRIC CANCER

  1. Early gastric rarely cause symptoms, which is why gastric cancer is detected in advanced stages.
  2. The most common early symptom that should raise suspicion is “early satiety”, i.e. Sensation of fullness with a small number of foods in the upper abdomen.
  3. Anaemia and weakness with exhaustion even after small work.
  4. Vague discomfort in the upper abdomen above the navel.
  5. Nausea, vomiting with or without blood.
  6. Unexplained weight loss.
  7. Heartburn, indigestion.
  8. Blood in the stool.
  9. Decreased appetite.
  10. Abdomen swelling due to fluid – which happens in an advanced stage.

When the above symptoms persist for a longer time, for more than three weeks, then you should immediately consult a specialist for investigations to be done.

Measures To Decrease The Risk Factors Of Gastric Cancer

  1. Reduce your consumption of pickles and smoked foods like kebabs and smoked fish, which are popular in Andhra Pradesh’s interior.
  2. Avoid drinking alcohol and smoking since they can both harm the stomach mucosa, especially if a person is hooked to them both.
  3. Those who had Gastrojerenostomy & Vagotomy Surgery 15-25 years back should get surveillance endoscopies once a year.
  4. Those with a strong family history of gastric cancer should get a gastroscopy once a year from age 40.
  5. Take two portions of vegetables, fruits and greens every day.
  6. Exercise regularly to keep the body weight within limits. Home 

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