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What Is the No. 1 Risk Factor for Stomach Cancer?
Within the scientific community, researchers are still working to determine exactly what causes stomach cancer. Studies show that a number of risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing this malignancy. One of the most significant stomach cancer risk factors is a Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, which can sometimes cause stomach inflammation and ulcers.
Other stomach cancer risk factors
In addition to the presence of H. pylori bacteria within the stomach, other stomach cancer risk factors include:
- Being over age 55
- Being a man
- Having type A blood
- Having a certain genetic disorder, such as familial adenomatous polyposis, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer or Lynch syndrome (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer)
- Having a certain medical condition, such as achlorhydria, long-term stomach inflammation, pernicious anemia or stomach polyps
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating excessive amounts of salty foods or foods that were preserved by drying, pickling or smoking
- Drinking excessive amounts of alcoholic beverages
- Having previously undergone stomach surgery
- Being exposed to certain types of dust or fumes
It’s important to understand that even if you have one or more risk factors, stomach cancer is not inevitable. Rather, it is simply more likely. Also, many people who develop stomach cancer have no known risk factors.
Stomach cancer diagnosis and treatment at Moffitt
If you’re concerned that you might have stomach cancer, you can turn to Moffitt Cancer Center for a diagnosis and—if necessary—treatment. The gastroenterologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and other professionals in our Gastrointestinal Oncology Program work together to develop treatment plans that are specifically tailored to each patient’s unique needs. For more information, call 1-888-663-3488 or complete a new patient registration form online.