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The Basics Of Stomach Cancer

by other on October 14, 2011

The Basics Of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer is a disease caused by the presense of a tumor in the stomach.  Each year, over 25, 000 Amercans are diagnosed. More than 13, 000 die anually.  Men are affected almost twice as much as women.  Stomach cancer typically affects those between 50 and seventy years old.  Surprisingly, It is more prevalent in Japan, Korea, Great Britain, South America and Iceland than in the United States.
Japan has ten times the cases than the United States.  The number of American cases, while still high, have actually diminished over time.  The precise cause of stomach cancer has not yet been determined.  However, risk factors have been identified.  Diets high in refined salt and nitrites (common ingredients in processed meats/deli/luncheon meats) can increase the risk of developing stomach cancer.  Exposure to certain environmental toxins, such as those found in the coal, nickel, timber or rubber industries, have also been shown to increase the risk.
Polyps are benign growths which can develop in the stomach; they have the potential to turn cancerous. A family history of the disease, surgery for ulcers and pernicious anemia should be considered.  A great way to decrease the risk of stomach cancer and improved gastrointestinal health is to increase intake of fresh fruits and vegetables; it is recommended that at least 5 servings a day are consumed.
The early stages of stomach cancer usually provide no, or non-specific symptoms, such as heartburn, indigestion, slight nausea or discomfort.  Tumors are still small, and haven’t metastasized (spread) beyond the stomach.  Later stages are more specific and can include constipation, nausea, pain in the stomach, vomitting, loss of appetite, loss of weight, blood in the stool and appetite loss.  When these symptoms are fully prevalent, the cancer may have spread beyond the stomach.
Stomach Cancer Prognosis:
Prognosis depends on early detection.  Catching stomach cancer early and treating it appropriately gives an average seventry percent positive prognosis; unfortunately, during late stage stomach cancer, survival rates can be less than thirty percent.  As always, prevention is the best choice.
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