Gastric cancer is the most common form of cancer in incidence and second leading cause for mortality among cancer throughout the world. Being vigilant about the risk factors can help you lower the risk of gastric cancer.
The causes of gastric cancer includes:
- Genetic factors: The likelihood to contract gastric cancer is about 2-3 times higher in first-degree relatives of patients with the disease.
- Overweight: Being overweight increases the risk of gastric cancer. Thus, maintaining a healthy weight is much essential to keep away from any disease.
- Impact of Age: Usually elderly people are immune exhausted. The ability of their body to resist any infection is very less. As a result they are easily vulnerable to carcinogens and succumb to cancer.
- Faulty food habits: Research has proven that the risk of gastric cancer could be reduced by
- Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables in the diet. Raw vegetables and fruits exert a protective effect by reducing the area of exposure of carcinogens to gastric cells.
- Foods rich in Vitamin A, E and C reduce the risk of gastric cancer. Vitamin A,E, and C have a protective effect on gastric mucosa by helping in the rapid healing of ulcer lesions
- A mediterranean diet includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, cereals, legumes, nuts and seeds, fish and seafood, and small doses of red wine. Olive oil is the main source of fat. Lower consumption of milk and milk products are recommended. Adhering to Mediterranean diet has a positive effect on health. Mediterranean countries like France and Greece, Italy, Spain have relatively low incidence of gastric cancer.
- Studies have indicated that drinking green tea lessens risk of cancer; Green tea is rich in phytochemical catechin. Catechin has an inhibitory effect on the multiplication of cancer cells and apoptosis of the cells.
- Consuming large amount of dried, smoked, salted or pickled foods leads to the development of stomach cancer.
- High consumption of meat, refined flour, pasta, bread and buns might influence the risk of cancer.
- Consuming improperly preserved foods, lack of refrigeration also hikes cancer incidence.
- Food additives are added to increase shelf life of processed foods, antibiotics or hormones given to farm animals that are reared for meat, pesticides and herbicide in plants, bisphenols that are present in packaging materials are most dangerous carcinogens.
- Being physically active: Risk of cancer can be avoided by being physically active. Moderate to intense physical activity according ones physical condition is recommended for 30 – 40 minutes. Sedentary behaviors like sitting for long hours, watching TV and engaging in any screened based activity should be curtailed.
- Alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking may contribute to the transformation of the gastric tissue into tumor. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach leads to the damage of the gastric mucosa and the development of cancer cells.
- Pernicious anemia: People with persistent pernicious anemia develop gastric cancer over time.
- Helicobacter pylori infection: H. pylori enter our body through contaminated food and water and harbors in the mucosa of the stomach. Once H.pylori survives, causes chronic gastritis and ulcer. People with chronic gastric ulcers should be tested for H. pylori, and, if they are infected, should be treated with antibiotics to reduce the incidence of gastric cancer
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“Although the mechanism of cancer remains unclear, it seems that infection with H pylori is the major driving force in the process”- CorreaPrevention is better than cure. Cancer incidence is expected to escalate in future due to urbanization and nutrition transition. Nutritional factors play a crucial role in causing cancer. People with risk factors like heredity, faulty food habits , overweight, sedentary behavior, drinking liquors, smoking , chronic ulcers should be identified and encourage to follow healthy life style. Thus battle against cancer can be won only by sticking to a healthy diet, maintaining optimal weight, promoting physical activity, limiting the intake of alcohol and refraining from tobacco.