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Stomach Cancer

Risk Factors

Studies have found a number of factors that may increase the risk of developing this type of cancer. Some of the risk factors for stomach cancer include:
  • Helicobacter pylori infection of the stomach
  • Chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)
  • Older age
  • Being male
  • A diet high in salted, smoked, or poorly preserved foods
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Intestinal metaplasia
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or gastric polyps
  • A mother, father, sister, or brother who has had stomach cancer.
Risk factors are not causes of the disease. However, they can increase a person's chances of developing it. People who are at risk of developing stomach cancer should talk to their doctor about methods of prevention and plan a schedule for checkups.
(Click Stomach Cancer Risk Factors for more information.)

What Are the Symptoms?

In the early stages of stomach cancer, the following symptoms may occur:
  • Indigestion and stomach discomfort
  • A bloated feeling after eating
  • Mild nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heartburn.
In more advanced stages, the following symptoms may occur:
  • 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 with swallowing.
Other health problems, such as an ulcer or infection, can also cause symptoms of stomach cancer. People who have possible stomach cancer symptoms should see a doctor so that the problem may be diagnosed and treated.
(Click Stomach Cancer Symptoms for more information.)
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Cancer of the Stomach

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