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Am I At Risk for Stomach Cancer?

risk factors
Smoking increases your risk of stomach cancer, as well as other types of cancer.

There is really no way to know for sure if you are going to get stomach cancer. Certain factors may make you more likely to get it than another person. These are called risk factors. However, just because you have one or more risk factors does not necessarily mean you will get stomach cancer. In fact, you can have all the risk factors and still not get stomach cancer, or you can have no known risk factors and still get it.

Below are some factors that may increase the risk for stomach cancer.

I eat a lot of processed or cured meats or salted, pickled, and smoked foods

People with a diet high in salty foods are at greater risk of getting stomach cancer. This includes food that is smoked, cured, salted, or pickled. Researchers think that salt and similar chemicals such as sodium nitrite, which is found in cured meats, can change into cancer-causing substances. 

I use tobacco products

People who use tobacco are at increased risk of getting stomach cancer.

I am very overweight

Obesity is a risk linked to many cancers, including stomach cancer. Obesity and smoking together increase your risk even more.

I’ve had stomach polyps

The risk for stomach cancer is higher in a person who has had small growths, called stomach polyps. This risk is greater if you’ve had a type called adenomatous polyps.

I’ve had stomach surgery

If you’ve already had surgery to remove part of your stomach for stomach ulcers, you are at increased risk of cancer occurring in the stomach that remains. 

I have Helicobacter pylori infection

These bacteria, which often cause stomach ulcers, can injure the lining of the stomach. This leads to a higher risk of stomach cancer.

I have pernicious anemia

This is a severe problem in producing red blood cells due to the stomach's inability to absorb vitamin B12. People with pernicious anemia are at increased risk of stomach cancer.

I have Menetrier’s disease

This rare disease may be linked to stomach cancer. In Menetrier’s disease, you have large folds in your stomach. The stomach lining is not normal and the stomach produces too little acid. Menetrier’s disease is also called hypertrophic gastropathy.

I am male

Men are twice as likely to get stomach cancer as are women.

I am over the age of 50

After the age of 50, people are more likely to get stomach cancer. Most people with stomach cancer are between 60 and 80 years old.

I have several close family relatives who have had stomach cancer

People who have several first-degree relatives (mother, father, sister, brother) who have had stomach cancer are at increased risk.

I have type A blood

People with type A blood are at increased risk of getting stomach cancer. Researchers do not know why this is true.


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