Gastric cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world. Although not common in the United States, it is more prevalent among immigrants (especially from East Asian countries). Gastric cancer is one of the most deadly cancers in the world as a whole, with the average life expectancy of those diagnosed only 24 months and the chance of surviving a patient for five years after diagnosis and treatment only About 10%.
How gastric cancer is created?
Gastric cancer occurs when the cells lining the stomach wall grow uncontrollably. In the early stages, cancer is confined to the first and second layers of the gastric and lymph nodes, but in more advanced stages, the third-stage cancer engages the farther gastric and lymph nodes and even spreads to other organs.
Unfortunately, gastric cancer can remain asymptomatic for a long time, or it can occur with nonspecific symptoms (such as indigestion, heartburn, and throat excretion, which are also seen in other gastric diseases). Other nonspecific symptoms include loss of appetite, especially for meaty foods, and vague abdominal discomfort. Symptoms of abdominal pain, flatulence and gas in the abdomen, weakness, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation may develop if the disease progresses. If symptoms such as severe weight loss, vomiting or black tarry stools (Melena) are added to the above symptoms, one should seriously consider the possibility of gastric cancer. However, it is up to the specialist to make the final diagnosis and rule out other causes, such as gastric ulcers that can cause these symptoms.
Factors that increase the risk of cancer
Helicobacter pylori has been known to be a major risk factor for about 65 to 80% of gastric cancer cases, but this does not mean that anyone infected with this bacterium is more likely to develop gastric cancer. Statistics show that only 2% of people with Helicobacter pylori develop gastric cancer. Another factor is smoking. Smoking between 40% (for people who smoke occasionally) to 82% (for people who smoke a lot) increases the risk of stomach cancer, especially in the upper stomach and near the esophagus. Some studies have also shown a link between high alcohol consumption and gastric cancer.
There is some different opnions about the diet, but it is possible that continued and long-term consumption of smoked foods, Salt rich, fermented vegetables, pickled vegetables and processed foods may increase the risk of developing gastric cancer. A common feature of all the above foods is their high levels of nitrite and nitrate. Genetics are also likely to be affected, with 10% of cases occurring in people with one of their close relatives having previously had the cancer and between 1% and 3% of the cases had a genetic disease is transmitted from parents to children. In terms of environmental factors, long exposure to harmful radiation such as X-rays and long work in the mines have also been identified as risk factors.
Quitting smoking can reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Smokers may need counseling to quit smoking, alternative treatments and group therapy. Not eating foods containing nitrite and nitrate as mentioned earlier and following a diet high in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables (such as the Mediterranean diet) can be effective in preventing it. The amount of salt in the foods should be controlled and the processed foods avoided as much as possible. Alcohol consumption should not exceed the daily limit. If there is evidence of Helicobacter pylori, treatment should be carried out according to the advice of a specialist who may include antibiotic treatments.