Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI]
This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER
Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention
Overview of Prevention
Doctors cannot always explain why one person gets cancer and another does not. However, scientists have studied general patterns of cancer in the population to learn what things around us and what things we do in our lives may increase our chance of developing cancer.
Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a risk factor; anything that decreases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a protective factor. Some of the risk factors for cancer can be avoided, but many cannot. For example, although you can choose to quit smoking, you cannot choose which genes you have inherited from your parents. Both smoking and inheriting specific genes could be considered risk factors for certain kinds of cancer, but only smoking can be avoided. Prevention means avoiding the risk factors and increasing the protective factors that can be controlled so that the chance of developing cancer decreases.
Although many risk factors can be avoided, 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. Some people are more sensitive than others are to factors that can cause cancer. Talk to your doctor about methods of preventing cancer that might be effective for you.
Purposes of this summary
The purposes of this summary on stomach cancer prevention are to:
- Give information on stomach cancer and how often it occurs.
- Describe stomach cancer prevention methods.
- Give current facts about which people or groups of people would most likely be helped by following stomach cancer prevention methods.
You can talk to your doctor or health care professional about cancer prevention methods and whether these methods would be likely to help you.
Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention
Stomach cancer is also called gastric cancer. The most common type of stomach cancer is gastricadenocarcinoma, or cancer of the glandulartissue in the stomach. Other rarer forms of stomach cancer include lymphomas (cancer involving the lymphatic system) and sarcomas (cancer of the connective tissue, such as muscle, fat, or blood vessels).
Significance of stomach cancer
Over most of the century, the frequency of stomach cancer has been decreasing. Over the past several years, the number of new cases of stomach cancer in the United States seems to be steady, while the number of deaths has greatly decreased.
Stomach cancer prevention
Stomach cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors for the disease. Many risk factors are modifiable though not all can be avoided.
DIET AND LIFESTYLE: Excessive salt intake has been identified as a possible risk factor for stomach cancer. Having a high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables may be associated with a decreased risk of stomach cancer. Studies have suggested that eating foods that contain beta-carotene and vitamin C may decrease the risk of stomach cancer, especially if intake of micronutrients is inadequate.
HELICOBACTER PYLORI INFECTION: There is strong evidence that infection with a certain bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. However, it is not known if treating Helicobacter pylori infection with antibiotics decreases the risk of stomach cancer.
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Changes to This Summary (02 / 22 / 2008)
The PDQcancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.
This summary was renamed from Gastric Cancer Prevention.
Questions or Comments About This Summary
If you have questions or comments about this summary, please send them to Cancer.gov through the Web site's Contact Form. We can respond only to email messages written in English.
PDQ IS A COMPREHENSIVE CANCER DATABASE AVAILABLE ON NCI'S WEB SITE.
PDQ is the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) comprehensive cancer information database. Most of the information contained in PDQ is available online at NCI's Web site. PDQ is provided as a service of the NCI. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's focal point for biomedical research.
PDQ CONTAINS CANCER INFORMATION SUMMARIES.
The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine. Most summaries are available in two versions. The health professional versions provide detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions provide current and accurate cancer information.
THE PDQ CANCER INFORMATION SUMMARIES ARE DEVELOPED BY CANCER EXPERTS AND REVIEWED REGULARLY.
Editorial Boards made up of experts in oncology and related specialties are responsible for writing and maintaining the cancer information summaries. The summaries are reviewed regularly and changes are made as new information becomes available. The date on each summary ("Date Last Modified") indicates the time of the most recent change.
PDQ ALSO CONTAINS INFORMATION ON CLINICAL TRIALS.
A clinical trial is a study to answer a scientific question, such as whether a certain drug or nutrient can prevent cancer. Trials are based on past studies and what has been learned in the laboratory. Each trial answers certain scientific questions in order to find new and better ways to help cancer patients and those who are at risk for cancer. During prevention clinical trials, information is collected about the effects of a new prevention method and how well it works. If a clinical trial shows that a new method is better than one currently being used, the new method may become "standard." People who are at high risk for a certain type of cancer may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.
Listings of clinical trials are included in PDQ and are available online at NCI's Web site. Descriptions of the trials are available in health professional and patient versions. Many cancer doctors who take part in clinical trials are also listed in PDQ. For more information, call the Cancer Information Service 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237).
Date Last Modified: 2008-02-22
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