Gastric Cancer

Risk Factors

Twice as common in men.

Most case are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70.

Helicobacter pylori infection:
Leads to chronic atrophic gastritis and associated with adenocarcinoma of the stomach. Helicobacter infection is also associated with lymphoma of the stomach.

Dietary causes:
Smoked foods, salted fish, foods high in starch & low in fiber, and pickled vegetables are associated with high incidence of stomach cancer.

Tobacco and alcohol abuse:
These habits can increase stomach cancer risk, particularly for cancers of the proximal stomach (the upper portion of the stomach closest to the esophagus).

Previous stomach surgery:
Patients who underwent a Billroth II operation are at higher risk.


Pernicious anemia:
In addition to anemia, there is a slightly increased risk of stomach cancer for patients with this disease.

Blood group A:
People with blood group A have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.

Familial cancer syndromes:
Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (Lynch Syndrome or HNPCC) and Familial Adenomatous Polyposis a slightly increased risk of stomach cancer in family members affected by these inherited gene mutations.

Family history of stomach cancer:
People with several close blood relatives who have had stomach cancer are more likely to develop this disease.

Stomach polyps:
Hyperplastic polyps or inflammatory polyps do not increase a person's risk of stomach cancer but adenomatous polyps may develop into gastric cancers.


  • Upper endoscopy
  • Barium upper GI radiographs An Upper GI and small bowel series is a set of X-rays taken to examine the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. X-rays are taken after the patient has swallowed a barium suspension (contrast medium).
    X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation like light, but of higher energy, so they can penetrate the body to form an image on film. Structures that are dense (such as bone) will appear white, air will be black, and other structures will be shades of gray Barium is very dense and will appear white on the X-ray film.
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound


The treatment of choice for gastric cancer is usually surgery. Other possible treatments include chemotherapy, radiation, and biological therapy, also known as immunotherapy. These treatments, when used, are usually in conjunction with surgery rather than on their own.

Dietary risk factors can be managed. Individuals, especially those in risk groups, should eat an adequate amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

In addition, high-fat foods and animal proteins should only be consumed moderately. Most importantly, individuals should minimize their intake of dried, salty foods.