Stomach Cancer

(Gastric Cancer)

Definition

Stomach cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in the stomach. There are five layers of tissue in the stomach. Types of cancer include:
  • Adenocarcinoma—tumors of the mucosa (the innermost layer), which make up over 90% of stomach cancers
  • Lymphoma—a cancer of the immune system, which is sometimes found in the stomach wall
  • Gastric stomal tumors—tumors of the stomach wall
  • Carcinoid tumors—tumors of the hormone-producing cells of the stomach
Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. Eventually these uncontrolled cells form a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant growths. These growths can invade nearby tissues including the lymph nodes. Cancer that has invaded the lymph nodes can then spread to other parts of the body.It is not clear exactly what causes these problems in the cells, but is probably a combination of genetics and environment.

Risk Factors

Stomach cancer is more common in men, and in people aged 50 years and older. Other factors that may increase your chance of stomach cancer include:
  • Ethnicity and geography, more common in:
    • Hispanics and African-Americans than Caucasians
    • People from Japan, Korea, parts of Eastern Europe, and Latin America
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Diet
    • High intake of smoked, salted, pickled food and meat, high starch/low fiber foods
    • Low intake of certain vegetables, such as garlic scallions, onions, chives, leeks
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Previous stomach surgery
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Ménétrier disease (a disease that causes large folds in the stomach lining)
  • Barrett's esophagus
  • Blood type A
  • Familial cancer syndromes: hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer and familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Family history of stomach cancer
  • Stomach polyps

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