Are you at risk for stomach cancer?

Are you at risk for stomach cancer?

Stomach cancer can take a toll on your body, especially for people ages 50 to 70 years old who are most at risk.

Dr. John Brems, surgical director at the Center for Advanced Liver and Pancreatic Cancer at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., says stomach cancer is primarily related to three things: smoking, obesity and diet – all of which irritate the stomach, increasing your likelihood of getting this cancer.

Here are a few lifestyle changes he suggests making:

  1. Stop smoking – Like most cancers, there is a high correlation between smoking and stomach cancer.
  2. Lose weight – Being overweight can increase reflux. When experiencing reflux, Dr. Brems’ says, “People often get prescribed medications like Protonix which is a proton pump inhibitor, so it doesn’t really get rid of your reflux, but it gets rid of the symptoms.”
  3. Improve diet – Cut back on smoked and salty foods. “Lifestyle changes are very important in preventing cancers,” says Dr. Brems. “You must be willing to make small changes to your everyday life,” he says.

There are a few signs to look out for:

  • Reflux and heartburn if you are overweight
  • Vomiting or coughing up blood
  • Drastic weight loss

If any of these symptoms begin to occur, make an appointment with a doctor and set up an endoscopic evaluation.

“It is important to remember to listen to your body, know yourself and if things don’t seem right to not just ignore the symptoms. You need to see somebody since many cancers, if they are detected early, are curable,” says Dr. Brems.

If you or a family member are diagnosed with stomach cancer, Dr. Brems gives some advice and encouragement.

“We can do a molecular analysis on the tumors and evaluate which gene is causing the cancer and figure out where the mutation is,” explains Dr. Brems. “Now with immunotherapy treatments, we have a much higher success rate and a much better chance to cure the cancer,” he says.

If you are at risk for this cancer or experiencing any of these symptoms, reach out to your doctor.

Do you have symptoms of acid reflux? Take a free online quiz. 

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One Comment

  1. Molecular analysis

    More information please,
    options on detection and how is stomach cancer actually detected ?

    Treatment therapies or treatment options. Or is chemo or radiation the treatment.


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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.