It’s not all the time that stomach cancer makes its presence known. And when the various symptoms it brings are not apparent, the disease can get to its advanced stages without your knowledge, in which it can be extremely challenging to treat. That is why knowing whether or not you are at high risk of stomach cancer is of utmost importance.

Some of the common causes of stomach cancer pertain to the choices you make, such as your everyday diet and lifestyle. By making a few changes, then it can be so much easier for you to steer clear of it.

But before we tackle what those habits are that can increase your likelihood of having cancer of the stomach, let us first discuss some of those that you cannot do nothing about, like your age, gender and genes. All of them, changeable or not, are referred to as risk factors — things that can increase your chance of having a particular disease.

Do take note that you should not panic if you have the risk factors for stomach cancer. That’s because it doesn’t mean right away that you are bound to have such form of the big C sooner or later.

For your peace of mind, there are individuals who have the various risk factors for stomach cancer but are actually free of it. And then there are also those who were diagnosed with stomach cancer but did not have the risk factors for it. So in other words, having the following risk factors should not be considered as a life sentence:

Age 

The older a person gets, the higher his or her odds of having to face stomach cancer. Medical experts say that stomach cancer is more common in individuals over 55 years of age. 

Gender 

It is also said that men are more susceptible to having stomach cancer than women. To be precise, the said form of cancer affects males two times as often as females. 

Race 

Stomach cancer tends to be more prevalent in African Americans, Asians and Hispanics. On the other hand, Caucasians are less susceptible to having the dreaded disease. 

Family history 

If someone in the family has been diagnosed with stomach cancer, then it’s possible for you to have the disease, too, because cancer tends to run in families. 

Genetics 

Experts say that there are genetic disorders that you may inherit from your parents that can increase your likelihood of one day suffering from cancer of the stomach.

Medical doctors say that there is a certain type of bacterium called helicobacter pylori that can put you at risk of having stomach cancer. Also called H. pylori, it’s something that can cause inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of your stomach, thus increasing your likelihood of developing stomach cancer.

Then there is a type of virus — the Epstein-Barr virus — that may also put you at risk of stomach cancer. In fact, about 5 to 10 percent of all people with stomach cancer are infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.

In addition, having pernicious anemia, which is a type of anemia wherein the body doesn’t have enough vitamin B12 that’s necessitated for the production of red blood cells of RBCs, may also put you at risk of having cancer of the stomach. That’s because the blood condition may cause stomach polyps to form, thus increasing stomach cancer risk.

Now let’s get to the risk factors for stomach cancer that you may do something about, and they are dietary and lifestyle ones. By dealing with the following, your chances of having stomach cancer may be reduced:

Cigarette smoking 

It’s no secret that smoking can increase a person’s risk of having various types of cancer, and one of those is the kind that affects the stomach.

Poor diet 

Do you consume plenty of processed or preserved food products? Then you may be disheartened to know that you are at higher risk of developing cancer of the stomach one day.

Sedentary lifestyle 

We all know that being physically active is good for your health. On the other hand, there are so many problems linked to being sedentary, and stomach cancer is one of them.

 

Obesity

Failure to consume lots of healthy foods and exercise on a regular basis can leave you overweight, which is something that can put you at risk of stomach cancer.

Chemical exposure 

People who are working in rubber, coal or metal industries are said to be at risk of having stomach cancer because they are exposed to carcinogenic chemicals.

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