How To Prevent Stomach Cancer: 7 Methods To Follow

Lowering the chances of getting cancer are known as cancer prevention1. Preventing cancer can lower the number of new cancer cases in a group or population. It can also help lower the number of deaths caused by cancer. Stomach cancer is also known as gastric cancer, and it occurs when the cells in the stomach’s inner lining begin to grow abnormally. If you are diagnosed with stomach cancer, you might want to know how to prevent stomach cancer.

The chances of developing cancer are determined by observing the risk factors and protective factors. Doctors try to prevent new cancers in patients by determining these factors. Your doctor may look for anything that can decrease the chances of developing cancer. It is often known as a protective factor.

Cancer develops when the body develops out of control. Cells from any body part can become cancer cells and can spread very rapidly to other areas of your body.

People get diagnosed with many types of cancer. But one common type of cancer is stomach cancer.

It would help if you learned about stomach cancer, the other risk factor, and its symptoms to prevent it from happening.

1. Risk Factors for Stomach Cancer

If you try to avoid the risk factors of stomach cancer2, then you may not develop stomach cancer. The factors can include smoking, being overweight, and not exercising. There are many other reasons for developing stomach cancer3.

Prevent Stomach Cancer
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1.1. Medical Conditions

If you have any medical conditions given here, there is a high chance of developing stomach cancer.

  1. Infection in the stomach due to Helicobacter pylori or H pylori

  2. EBV or Epstein-Barr virus infection

  3. Intestinal metaplasia (It is a condition where the cells in the stomach lining are replaced by the cells of the intestine lining)

  4. Chronic atrophic gastritis


    . This condition happens when the stomach lining is caused by long-term stomach inflammation.

  5. Pernicious anemia, which is caused due to vitamin B12 deficiency

  6. Stomach polyps or gastric

1.2. Genetic Conditions

Certain genetic conditions can increase stomach cancer risk factors.

  • If any member of the family history had stomach cancer

  • If you have Type A blood

  • Traces of Familial Adenomatous Polyposis or FAP

  • Suffering from Li-Fraumeni syndrome

  • If you have Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colon Cancer or HNPCC, which is a Lynch syndrome

1.3. Diet

Diet is also linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer.

  • I am eating low-diet fruits and vegetables.

  • Eating foods with high salt content and smoked foods

  • Consumed foods that are not stored or made perfectly.

1.4. Environmental Factors

Environmental factors are also responsible for stomach cancer cases. Stomach cancer develops –

  • if you are exposed to radiation

  • if you are working in the rubber or coal industry

Some countries have a high percentage of stomach cancer patients. If you also belong to those places where stomach cancer risks are high, then there is a chance that you will also develop stomach cancer.

2. Protective Factors

Protective factors are those factors that contribute to preventing cancer risk. You can control stomach cancer risk if these factors have carried out.

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2.1. Quit Smoking

Smoking is directly linked with cancer risk. Be it stomach cancer or any other cancer risk, smoking is linked with increased cancer risk.

If you stop smoking or decrease it to a certain level, you may help doctors decrease the stomach cancer in you. You may also have seen that smokers quitting smoking have significantly improved cancer prevention.

2.2. Treatment of H Pylori Infection

The chronic infection of Helicobacter pylori or h pylori bacteria is directly linked with the risk of stomach cancer. When someone suffers from this infection, their stomach becomes inflamed, and specific changes are seen in the cells of the stomach line. These cells grow abnormally and hence increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Treating H. Pylori infection with the help of antibiotics can significantly lower your risk of stomach cancer. Even vitamins and garlic supplements help in stomach cancer prevention.

However, it is not sure whether H.Pylori is treated with antibiotics. It can reduce the number of deaths caused by cancer or not.

Unfortunately, people who use Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) after treating H. pylori infection are more likely to get stomach cancer. But, it is not sure whether PPIs can lead to cancer or not.

2.3. Diet

Eating fruits and vegetables with high vitamins can significantly reduce the risk of stomach cancer. If you eat foods rich in vitamin D and beta carotene, you will be less inclined to stomach cancer.

Consuming foods that contain a low amount of salt can significantly help reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Moreover, consuming less salt can lower the risk of high blood pressure. It has been proven through a study that shows that high salt content increases the risk of gastric cancer. People in the United States have reduced consuming salt in their food, which leads to low mortality rates.

2.4. Dietary Supplements

It is not known if consuming certain minerals and some dietary supplements can reduce the risk of stomach cancer. However, you may try eating foods rich in carotene, vitamin E, and selenium supplements. But you should consult with your doctor before consuming anything on your own.

3. How to Prevent Stomach Cancer

There are no guaranteed ways to prevent stomach cancer which is often called gastric cancer. It is the same for stomach cancer. You can lower your gastric cancer risk by following a healthy diet and stomach cancer prevention factors.5 Not just for stomach cancer, but to be free from any other diseases, you must avoid the risk factors and focus more on the protective factors.

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3.1. Maintaining Proper Body Weight

Being overweight or obese always increases certain cancers. So, it would be best to try eating a diet high in specific nutrients, which can lower your risk of stomach cancer.

3.2. Exercise

You should also get regular physical activity and stop consuming tobacco products. Physical activity can be very beneficial in all aspects.

3.3. Consume Vitamin D

Eat fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin D to maintain a healthy weight.

3.4. Diet Plans

Plan a meal along with fresh fruits, and include citrus fruits. Also, try not to add grapefruit since it can alter blood levels. You must consult with your doctor before planning your meals.

3.5. Check Your Family History

If anyone from your family history or close relatives had stomach cancer or its symptoms, you should also go under a diagnosis. A complete diagnosis can only detect whether or not you have stomach cancer.

3.6. Use Prescribed Medications

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can lower gastric cancer risk. Medications like ibuprofen and naproxen also help lower colon polyps and colon cancer. However, it would help if you did not take them randomly since they can cause your life with internal bleeding and other potential health risks.

3.7. Be Cautious After Your Stomach Cancer Treatment

There is an excellent chance of generating stomach cancer if you have HSGC or Hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. So, you must look back into your family history about this inherited syndrome and go for a clinical trial to confirm. It requires early detection since it can start at an early age.

4. Symptoms of Stomach Cancer Risk

The earliest stage of gastric cancer can hardly cause any symptoms. Generally, stomach cancer is not found until it has grown into a relatively large or has spread outside the stomach.

When the cancer cells grow significantly, the patients face some symptoms:

  • Reduced appetite

  • Loss of weight

  • Abdominal pain (Belly)

  • Distress in the abdomen, usually above the navel

  • Will feel after eating a small meal

  • Indigestion

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting, often with blood

  • Swelling or abdominal fluid build-up

  • Blood in stool

  • Tired due to few red blood cells, which is also known as iron deficiency anemia

  • Skin and eyes are turning yellow (Jaundice) when cancer spreads to the liver.

However, most of the signs of stomach cancer are caused by a viral infection or an acute ulcer. Even there is a possibility that you have developed some other type of cancer. But, when the person faces these signs, they should not look for a second opinion and run for treatment.

5. After Treatment

People who have successfully passed gastric cancer treatment may have better results since this can be stressful and exciting. Cancer cells are completely removed or destroyed after treatment, but they can reoccur if you do not maintain a strict healthy daily routine. You can look for the recommended routines for people after stomach cancer treatment on the American Cancer Society website.

Some people may get cancer cells again, and some may not. Cancer patients are treated with chemotherapy during treatment to keep the cancer cells in check. This might cause problems, so you have to maintain your lifestyle after getting cancer treatment.

6. Bottom-Line

Once you are done with your stomach cancer treatments, your doctor may still want you to keep watch. You must the frequent checkups and discuss the post-symptoms.

However, if you are not a patient with stomach cancer but feel uneasy with your stomach, you must fix an appointment with your doctor. You also must know how to prevent stomach cancer and do regular exercise to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

Cancer can sometimes reoccur. But not everyone suffers from this issue. So, you must have cancer information and look for early detection and treatment options.

Even The American Cancer Society recommends that people have a healthy eating pattern since colorful fruits, whole grains, and avoiding red and processed meats can prevent gastric cancer and help with cancer treatment.

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  1. Umar, Asad, Barbara K. Dunn, and Peter Greenwald. “Future directions in cancer prevention.” Nature Reviews Cancer 12.12 (2012): 835-848. ↩︎
  2. Poorolajal, Jalal, et al. “Risk factors for stomach cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” Epidemiology and health 42 (2020). ↩︎
  3. Brenner, Hermann, Dietrich Rothenbacher, and Volker Arndt. “Epidemiology of stomach cancer.” Cancer epidemiology: modifiable factors (2009): 467-477. ↩︎
  4. Li, Yifei, et al. “Chronic atrophic gastritis: a review.” Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology 37.3 (2018). ↩︎
  5. Brenner, Hermann, Dietrich Rothenbacher, and Volker Arndt. “Epidemiology of stomach cancer.” Cancer epidemiology: modifiable factors (2009): 467-477. ↩︎

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Susanta Biswas

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