According to a main new scientific report published by the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund, drinking alcohol, consuming processed meat and being overweight raise the risk of developing stomach cancers.
The Continuous Update Project (CUP) report was lead by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
Researchers systematically collected and examined data related to stomach cancer, following which a panel of major international professionals evaluated the outcomes independently.
Globally, there were 952,000 cases of stomach cancer in 2012, or 7 percent of all new cancer cases.
Stomach cancer is the 3rd most common cause of cancer related deaths. It impacts men two times as much as women, and it is very prevalent among older individuals, with the average age of diagnosis in the US being 72 years.
In Europe and the US, the rate of survival is 25-28 percent, increasing to 63 percent if it is diagnosed early. But symptoms may not appear till the late stages, and some 70 percent of cases globally are diagnosed late, leading to a reduced survival rate. Eastern Asia and China are especially affected.
Modifying trends in occurrence of stomach cancer
Classification of stomach cancer relies on where the tumor develops. Cardia stomach cancer happens at the top of the stomach, close to the esophagus; non-cardia cancer happens anywhere else in the stomach.
Non-cardia stomach cancer is very common, particularly in Asia, but the rates are decreasing. This may be because of reduction in Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, and due to more individuals using refrigeration, instead than salt, to preserve food.
On the other hand, cardia stomach cancer is now more frequent in the US and the UK, and the trend is rising.
Earlier results have recommended that smoking is accountable for 11 percent of cases of stomach cancer globally.
Infection by H. pylori infection is identified to trigger non-cardia stomach cancer, and researches are under way to find out any connection with Epstein-Barr virus.
Industrial chemical subjection and workplace subjection to dust and high temperature have also been suggested as a factor. Individuals who run food machines and those working in rubber production, wood or metal processing, chromium manufacturing and coal mining are believed to be at higher risk.
The present research shows the effect of specific lifestyle aspects, on the risk of developing stomach cancer. It included 89 meta-analyses and information for 17.5 million adults, 77,000 of whom had stomach cancers.
Stay away from processed or salted meat and keep a healthy weight
The authors identified strong proof that specific products raise the threat of stomach cancer, and particularly:
- Drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks daily, or over 1.5 ounces of pure alcohol
- Consuming foods stored using salt
- Eating meat prepared by smoking, curing, salting, or by adding preservatives, like as bacon, ham, hot dogs, pastrami and salami, and some sausages. Results recommend that if an individual consumes two strips of bacon daily, or around 1.8 ounces of processed meat, the threat goes up by 18 percent.
Strong proof also indicates that overweight or obese people are at higher risk of cardia stomach cancer. The threat seems to rise by 23 percent for every 5 BMI units. Unwanted body fat is now connected with 11 kinds of cancer.
There are signs that eating grilled or barbecued meat and fish lead to the risk, whereas taking fruit, and particularly citrus fruit, may assist prevent stomach cancer.
The investigators call on individuals to sustain a healthy weight, keep physically active, eat a healthy and balanced diet and restrict or avoid alcohol intake.
Dr. Anne McTiernan, a member of the panel of experts, states that:
“The main point here is to follow the AICR suggestions for cancer prevention in general. Restrict consumption of alcohol, which for men means no more than two drinks a day and for women no more than one drink per day. Eat a plant-based diet, plenty of vegetables, fruits, and avoid consumption of processed meats. Also, maintain bodyweight in a normal range.”