Gastric Cancer FAQs
Reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
- Stomach cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. True or False?
- What are major risk factors for developing stomach cancer?
- Stomach cancer is hereditary: True or False?
- What blood type is most at risk for stomach cancer?
- Why is stomach cancer rarely diagnosed early?
- How is stomach cancer diagnosed?
- Which bacteria is commonly linked to stomach cancer?
- Stomach cancer can be treated by removing part of the stomach: True or False?
- What is the average age of stomach cancer diagnosis?
- Improve your Health I.Q. on Gastric Cancer
- Gastric Cancer Related Slideshows
- Gastric Cancer Related Image Collections
Q:Stomach cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the world. True or False?
Lung cancer causes the largest number of cancer deaths in the U.S., but stomach cancer is common around the world. It is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, particularly in less-developed countries. According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, it is the 5th most common cancer in the world. Also the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that stomach cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death worldwide.
The U.S. used to have high rates of stomach cancer until then 1930s, when widespread use of refrigeration made fruits and vegetables readily accessible and reduced the need for salted or smoked meats. The use of antibiotics to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria, a leading cause of stomach cancer, is also believed to have decreased rates in the U.S.
Q:What are major risk factors for developing stomach cancer?
A:Risk factors for developing stomach cancer include:
Q:Stomach cancer is hereditary: True or False?
Stomach cancer can run in families. If you have a first-degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) with stomach cancer you may be more likely to develop the disease.
Q:What blood type is most at risk for stomach cancer?
A:People with type A blood have an increased risk of developing stomach cancer.
The reasons for this are unknown.
Q:Why is stomach cancer rarely diagnosed early?
A:In the early stages, stomach cancer often does not present any symptoms.
When symptoms do appear, they often resemble other medical conditions. Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include:
Q:How is stomach cancer diagnosed?
A:Stomach cancer diagnosis begins with a history and physical by your doctor.
You may be referred to a gastroenterologist, a specialist in disorders of the digestive tract. An upper endoscopy may be ordered. This is a test where a long tube with a camera on the end is inserted down your throat into the stomach to visualize your upper digestive tract including the esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of the small intestine. A biopsy, or tissue sample, may be taken. An ultrasound may be used with the endoscope to produce images of the organs and help see how far stomach cancer has spread.
Q:Which bacteria is commonly linked to stomach cancer?
A:Certain strains of Helicobater pylori (H. pylori) are commonly associated with stomach cancer.
About half the population has some type of H. pylori infection but most will not develop stomach cancer.
Q:Stomach cancer can be treated by removing part of the stomach: True or False?
Removing the affected part of the stomach in a procedure called a gastrectomy can treat stomach cancer in the earliest stages when the cancer is limited to the inner lining layer of the stomach. Once the cancer has spread it may be treated with gastrectomy, lymph node removal, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.
Q:What is the average age of stomach cancer diagnosis?
A:The average age a person is diagnosed with stomach cancer is 69.
About 60% of people diagnosed with stomach cancer are 65 or older. The majority of people diagnosed with stomach cancer are between their late 60s to their 80s.
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