Saturday, November 24, 2012

November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

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By Nurse Diane

This month has been spent with a lot of focus on food with information about what to eat, and what problems can develop such as GERD and diabetes problems especially with the recent passage of Thanksgiving, the biggest eating day of the year, well for me anyway.

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One of the issues about the digestive system hasn't been talked about yet, and that is stomach cancer.  November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month.  Stomach cancer is the fourth deadliest cancer in the country.  It is the second leading cause of cancer death in the world!  The main reason that this has such a high death rate is because it is ever even detected, it has already been present in your body for some time.

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Studies have shown that this type of cancer is largely hereditary, but there are some other factors that can put you at risk too...such as:
  • Smoking;
  • Obesity;
  • Diets low in fruits and vegetables; and
  • Diets high in smoked, salted and pickled foods.

Some ways to help prevent getting this cancer include:
  • Early detection is the key to surviving stomach cancer.
  • Lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, can potentially reduce the risk of stomach cancer
  • Treatment of H. pylori infection (a common bacterial infection of the stomach) can decrease the risk of stomach cancer development.
  • Knowing your family history and discussing it with your healthcare provider can help determine if you are at risk for inherited cancer syndromes

Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer include:
  • Loss of appetite;
  • Unexplained weight loss;
  • Bloating;
  • Sense of fullness after eating small amounts of food (also called early satiety);
  • Abdominal pain or vague discomfort in the abdomen, usually above the navel;
  • Heartburn, indigestion or ulcer-type symptoms;
  • Nausea; and
  • Vomiting, with or without blood.

Ways to increase your awareness of Stomach Cancer include:
  1. Know the factors that put you at risk for stomach cancer.
  2. Know the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer.
  3. Know your family history.

To learn more about Stomach Cancer, and things you can do, visit this site, and make sure to see your doctor if you have a family history, or any of the above signs or symptoms. Early detection and active prevention is essential for a healthier life.

1 comment:

  1. Actually only about 2% of all stomach cancers are caused by the hereditary gene mutation called CDH1. To learn more about stomach cancer go to Can't Stomach Cancer at which is the leading stomach cancer organization in the world.