Stomach and gastric cancer occur when there is a growth of cancerous cells within the stomach. It is among the less forgiving forms of cancer with an estimated 27,600 cases in 2020, 11,000 of which will not survive, according to the American Cancer Society. This is likely due to the fact that it’s difficult to diagnose because it doesn’t always show symptoms in the early stages.
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The good news is that the number of cases in the US has been steadily declining by about 1.5-percent each year over the past decade. In other parts of the world it’s a different story. In less developed countries it’s one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths.
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.