Risk Factors Of Stomach Cancer Explained

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It is not possible to identify the exact reason why one person develops cancer. But various studies and research have shown that there are certain risk factors that may increase the chances of developing stomach cancer.

Commonly Known Risk Factors

  • Gender- men are at a higher risk of developing stomach cancer than women.
  • Age- The sharp increase of stomach cancer rates indicates that it affects the people between their late 60s and 80s
  • Ethnicity- In the US, it is more common in Asian/Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanic Americans, than it is in non-Hispanic whites.
  • Geography- Globally, it is more common in Central and South America, Eastern and Southern Europe, China, and Japan.

Helicobacter Pylori Infection

H. pylori is a common bacteria found in the mucous of the lining of the stomach. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is the most important risk factor that causes ulcers, inflammation, and changes to the cell found in the lining of the stomach. It may act with additional factors to enhance the risk of developing stomach cancer. 

Chances of getting stomach cancer with H.pylori Infection is around 40%. Breath, stool & blood tests can find Helicobacter infection. Long term infection may result in inflammation in the inner lining of the stomach called chronic atrophic gastritis.

Regular Intake Of Zantac (Ranitidine)

Zantac is the brand name of ranitidine which is a popular medicine for heartburn. It is known as an H2 antagonist or H2 blocker which acts as a neutralizer to reduce the acid present in the stomach by blocking histamine receptors. 

It is also used to treat various diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach and intestines, etc.

But according to the recent reports of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Zantac contains unacceptable levels of N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which are above the acceptable daily intake of NDMA (96 nanograms per day). 

Owing to the side effects of such medicines, many people have filed for heartburn medicine lawsuits against the manufacturers. If you’ve been diagnosed with stomach cancer after taking such heartburn medicine, consider filing a Zantac cancer lawsuit to get suitable compensation to pay for medical bills and treatment. 

People With A Family History Of Stomach Cancer

If your first-degree relative has had stomach cancer, there are chances that you also develop stomach cancer in the future due to inherited genetic conditions. 

Smoking

Smoking or chewing tobacco increases cancer risk. Other than pharynx (upper throat) and larynx (voice box), it affects the region which connects the esophagus to the stomach. 

Passive smoking also increases the risk of stomach cancer as it has the same level of exposure to harmful toxin substances such as nicotine.

Inherited Genetic Conditions

You are at a higher risk of developing stomach cancer if you inherited the following genetic conditions such as

  • Hereditary Diffuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC)

It is caused by the mutation of the CDH1 gene (also known as the E-cadherin gene). In this case, the cancer cells do not form a tumor in a particular area rather than they spread throughout the stomach. It usually develops before the age of 40 years.

  • Peutz-Jeghers Syndrome 

The mutation of the STK11 gene is called Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. It produces polyps in the stomach and intestines.

  • Lynch Syndrome

It is commonly known as HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer) and generally caused by genes mutations when the DNA is copied and cells divide

  • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)

It is a mutation of the APC (Adenomatous Polyposis Coli) gene that develops a large number of polyps on the lining of the colon, rectum, stomach and small intestine.

Conclusion

There are many other factors that increase the risk factor of developing stomach cancer. We recommend professional consultation with your doctor to get proper diagnosis and treatment before it is too late. 

Do let us know if you know any more risk factors that contribute to the growth of stomach cancer. 

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