Since 2010, the month of November has been observed as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month by the No Stomach for Cancer Organization. As this is the month of Thanksgiving when food is the focus, it is the ideal time to raise awareness about the challenges facing those with stomach cancer and people without a stomach.
According to the American Cancer Society, “Stomach cancer mostly affects older people. The average age of people when they are diagnosed is 68.” Other risk factors to be aware of are:
- Gender – More common in men than in women.
- Ethnicity – In the United States it is more common in Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders, than in non-Hispanic whites.
- Geography – More common in Japan, China, Southern and Eastern Europe, Central and South America. Less common in Northern and Western Africa, South Central Asia, and North America.
- Helicobacter pylori infection – Also called the H pylori bacteria, long-term infection of the stomach with it can cause chronic atrophic gastritis and precancerous changes on the inner lining of the stomach.
- Stomach lymphoma – Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is a certain type of lymphoma of the stomach that is known to increase the risk of stomach cancer.
- Diet – People who eat a diet high in smoked foods, salted fish, and pickled vegetables are at high risk due to the nitrates and nitrites used in the curing process. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of stomach cancer.
To schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.