Did you know adopting a healthy diet is one of the best ways to potentially reduce your risk factors for stomach cancer? To know more, read on.
Like most cancer types, doctors cannot always explain why one person gets gastric cancer and another doesn’t. Gastric cancer is cancer that starts anywhere in the stomach. It is not very easy to diagnose stomach cancer as it develops slowly over the years and also, people do not always experience any symptoms in its earlier stages and therefore, it often goes undetected.
Although the incidence of stomach cancer has dropped globally, it still remains to be the fourth most common cancer in India and the third most common in men.
That said, gastric or stomach cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors that increase a person’s chance of developing a disease. So, knowing the risk factors for stomach cancer is a step in the right direction. Some risk factors, such as family history, are not within your control, but other risk factors, such as diet and smoking tobacco products, are things you can certainly control.
It is important to keep in mind that avoiding risk factors does not guarantee that you will not get cancer. Also most people with a particular risk factor for cancer do not actually get the disease.
Stomach Cancer Prevention Tips
In order to safeguard yourself from the chances of developing a stomach cancer, you can take the following measures:
Healthy diet: Eating foods with plenty of fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C may lower your risk for stomach cancer.
Reduce salt consumption: Excessive salt intake has been identified as a possible risk factor for gastric cancer. Therefore, limit or reduce the amount of salt that is added to your food.
Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet: Try and include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your daily meal. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit may be helpful.
Quit smoking: Quitting smoking is probably the single best decision you can make for your health. It reduces your risk for many cancers, including cancers of the stomach, head and neck, larynx, esophagus, lung, bladder, kidney and pancreas.
Alcohol consumption: Limit the amount of alcohol you drink and do not use tobacco products.
Limit intake of preserved foods: Avoid eating smoked and pickled foods and salted meats and fish.
Get to a healthy weight: If you are obese or are overweight, you can talk to your doctor about strategies to help you get to a healthy weight. Try not to set very high goals for yourself right from the beginning, it takes a different amount of time for every person.
Family history of stomach cancer: Talk to your doctor about the risks of developing stomach cancer, especially if you have a family history of stomach cancer, chances are you might have inherited the DNA. You should consult your doctor and they will conduct some tests such as an endoscopy to look for any signs and symptoms of developing stomach cancer.
Early Diagnosis & Timely Treatment is Crucial to Saving Lives
Experts point out that the earlier stomach cancer is diagnosed and treated, the higher the chance for a five-year survival rate. The research found that the five-year survival rate of early-stage stomach cancer is as higher 93.6% while at the later stage, it is less than 20% (depending on the general health condition of the patient).
As mentioned above, there are almost no obvious symptoms in the early stages of stomach cancer and even if symptoms are present, it may be difficult to distinguish it from gastric problems. Some of the common symptoms you should watch out for include: difficulty in swallowing, stomach ache, fatigue, constipation, dark stools, swelling in the abdomen, severe indigestion, feeling bloated, etc. Therefore, it is advisable to consult a specialist if you experience any gastrointestinal discomfort.
Except for most advanced stage cancer (stage IV), stomach cancer can be cured by proper treatment. In fact, various treatment methods, such as, Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR) and Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD), are established treatment methods that allow curative treatment of early gastric cancer. In many cases, these can be performed as alternatives for surgery in early gastric cancer patients. But sometimes, depending on cancer stage, type, and location surgery is combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to achieve better results.
American Oncology Institute (AOI), the best hospital for cancer treatment in India provides complete and comprehensive care and management of stomach cancer. For further details or to seek an appointment with our stomach cancer specialist, speak to our representative.