Stomach Cancer

What Is It?

Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that form the inner lining of the stomach. The disease often does not cause symptoms until its later stages. Usually, by the time stomach cancer is diagnosed, the prognosis is poor. Most people who are diagnosed with stomach cancer are over age 60. The disease rarely occurs before age 50.

Several factors increase the risk of stomach cancer:

  • a diet high in smoked, salted, or pickled foods

  • alcohol and tobacco use

  • a history of persistent stomach irritation or ulcers

  • previous stomach surgery

  • multiple family members that have had stomach cancer.

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Symptoms

Many people with stomach cancer do not have any symptoms. When symptoms occur, they can be so vague that people ignore them. The symptoms of stomach cancer are also common symptoms of other gastrointestinal problems, such as stomach ulcers and viruses.

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