November is awareness month for stomach and gastric cancer (they’re different names for the same disease), so it’s a perfect time to digest more information about it. It’s one of the less forgiving forms of cancer – according to statistics from the National Cancer Institute, only 30.4-percent of those with the disease from 2006-2012 survived more than 5-years (the good news is that number is up from a 14.3-percent survival rate in 1975).
Meanwhile, there were an estimated 26,370-new cases in the U.S. in 2016, according to the same source, with an estimated 10,730-associated deaths (luckily, those numbers are trending downwards as well). Let’s take a look at seven other facts about stomach and gastric cancer…
1. There are Risk Factors
WebMD notes, “Scientists don’t know exactly what makes cancer cells start growing in the stomach,” but also adds that there a few known factors that seem to heighten chances of developing gastric cancer.
Of these risk factors, one is an infection of H. pylori, which is associated with stomach ulcers. Inflammation of your gut (gastritis), chronic anemia, and stomach polyps are also known to cause cancer in some cases, adds the source. Age (more cases over 60), gender (twice as common in men) and ethnicity (higher in Hispanics and African Americans) are also factors.