Stomach cancer is the world’s second leading cause of cancer death, however its incidence is geographically highly variable
Stomach cancer in the world
In decline in the socio-economically more developed countries and in populations that consume large quantities of fruit and vegetables, in Russia, China and Japan it reaches its maximum incidence level, while in Australia and North America it is very rare; Italy, on the other hand, ranks in the intermediate segment.
Statistically 90% of malignant tumors are represented by adenocarcinoma , while lymphomas, sarcomas and gastric endotheliomas are quite rare.
What are the risk factors affecting its onset?
There are several known risk factors that affect the onset of stomach cancer, including:
- Age advancement;
- Gender: it affects men more;
- Diet: smoked, salted and preserved foods increase the risk of tumor onset;
- Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption
- Obesity and gastroesophageal reflux
- Chronic gastric related diseases
- Presence of Helicobacter Pylori
When to contact a specialist
In the past most of the diagnoses occurred when the pathology was already at the most advanced stage: with the passage of time, however, research has focused on finding methods to diagnose cancer early, thus allowing to improve the quality and expectation of patients’ lives as well as reducing the risk of death.
Specifically, there are some symptoms that can be associated with an early stage of stomach cancer and that are the alarm bell for a specialist visit:
- Irregular difficulties in digestion
- Weight loss
- lack of appetite
- Occasional vomiting that quickly worsens until it becomes daily
The complications of the disease
If no action has been taken in time, it is very probable that the patient does not know that he or she is suffering from stomach cancer and that he / she will therefore face sometimes serious complications. These include stenosis, perforation of the stomach (it will manifest itself with the symptoms of peritonitis) and hemorrhage, which initially will present itself as acute anemia , hematemesis or melena. For this reason it is advisable to always consult a specialist when you notice worsening or change in health.