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Reducing Your Risk of Stomach Cancer

A risk factor increases your chances of developing cancer. Modifying the following risk factors may help reduce your risk of stomach cancer.

General Guidelines

The general guidelines for helping reduce your risk of stomach cancer include the following:

Stop Smoking

A significant number of cases of stomach cancer may be associated with smoking. If you are a smoker, you should do everything within your power to stop. You are risking stomach cancer, as well as many other kinds of serious disease. Contact your doctor to see if you can use an alternative nicotine delivery system (nicotine patch, nicotine gum), hypnotherapy, or group support to help you make this difficult but important lifestyle change.

For more information on quitting smoking, click here .

Stop Drinking Alcohol

Alcohol may be a risk factor for stomach cancer. If you are a heavy drinker, consult with your doctor on methods that can help you stop drinking.

Get Treatment for Other Stomach Conditions

H. pylori infection, chronic atrophic gastritis, and other chronic stomach conditions have been associated with an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. If you have any of these conditions, get medical treatment and follow through on medical recommendations for treatment.

Avoid Exposure to Stomach Cancer-causing Chemicals

You may have a higher-than-normal risk of developing stomach cancer if you work with heavy metals, rubber, or asbestos. If you must work with these substances, find out how to best protect yourself from exposure to the chemicals you’ll be around. Check with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or the Environmental Protection Agency for protective guidelines.

Talk to Your Doctor About the Benefits of Aspirin

Some studies have found a link between aspirin use and reduced rates of cancer in the lower stomach . Since taking aspirin can have side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding, talk to your doctor before deciding to start aspirin therapy.

Eat a Nutritious Diet

More and more studies imply that diet can play a role in the prevention of cancer. Check with your doctor or see a registered dietitian (RD) to learn how to eat a diet:

  • High in fiber, fruits, and vegetables
  • Low in in saturated fats and meats

Furthermore, since stomach cancer has been associated with smoked, salted, and pickled foods, it would be wise to cut down on these foods as much as possible.

Revision Information

  • Cecil Textbook of Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 738-741.

  • Conn’s Current Therapy 2002. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2002: 527-529.

  • Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 1998: 733-749.

  • What is stomach cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/ . Accessed December 2002.

  • What you need to know about stomach cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at http://www.cancer.gov/cancerinfo/wyntk/stomach . Accessed December 2002.

  • 7/16/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance : Yang P, Zhou Y, Chen B, Wan HW, Jia GQ, Bai HL, Wu XT. Aspirin use and the risk of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis. Dig Dis Sci. 2010;55(6):1533-1539.

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