November is stomach cancer awareness month. Stomach cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, with nearly one million people being diagnosed with this type of cancer on an annual basis.
Stomach cancer is the fourth most common cancer type worldwide. Knowledge is power; thus, everyone should learn about the risk factors for stomach cancer. Such knowledge could save lives. The American Cancer Society estimated that, last year alone, more than 10,000 Americans died from stomach cancer. Overall, 1 in 114 men and women are at a lifetime risk of developing stomach cancer.
Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer can include the following:
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Sense of fullness after eating small amounts of food
- Abdominal pain, usually above the navel area
- Heartburn, indigestion or ulcer-type symptoms
- Nausea and vomiting with or without blood
Lifestyle behaviors considered to be “risk factors” for stomach cancer include:
- Diets rich in smoked, salted and pickled foods
- Diets low in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Early detection is the key to surviving stomach cancer. Lifestyle changes can reduce the risk of stomach cancer and knowing one’s family health history is equally important (some types of cancers have inherited cancer specifics).
For more information on stomach cancer, including research, treatment options, education and more, please visit the “No Stomach For Cancer” website. This organization is involved in raising awareness and supporting efforts for education and treatment of stomach cancer. Learn what you can do to keep you and your family healthy, while reducing your lifetime risk of cancer.