Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is a malignant tumor arising from the lining of the stomach. There has been a significant decrease in the number of people diagnosed with stomach cancer in the past 60 years. Stomach cancers are classified according to the type of tissue where they originate. The most common type of stomach cancer is adenocarcinoma, which starts in the glandular tissue of the stomach and accounts for 90% to 95% of all stomach cancers. Other forms of stomach cancer include lymphomas, which involve the lymphatic system and sarcomas, which involve the connective tissue
The exact cause of stomach cancer is unknown, but a number of factors can increase the risk of the disease, including:
- Gender -- men have more than double the risk of getting stomach cancer than women.
- Race -- being African-American or Asian may increase your risk.
- Genetics -- genetic abnormalities and some inherited cancer syndromes may increase your risk
- Geography -- stomach cancer is more common in Japan, the former Soviet Union, and parts of Central America and South America.
- Blood type -- individuals with blood group A may be at increased risk.
- Advanced age -- stomach cancer occurs more often around ages 70 and 74 in men and women, respectively.
- Family history of gastric cancer can double or triple the risk of stomach cancer.
- Lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and eating a diet low in fruits and vegetables or high in salted, smoked, or nitrate-preserved foods may increase your risk
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach. H. pylori is a bacterium that infects the lining of the stomach and causes chronic inflammation and ulcers.
- Certain health conditions including chronic gastritis, pernicious anemia, gastric polyps, intestinal metaplasia, and prior stomach surgery.
- Work-related exposure due to coal mining, nickel refining, and rubber and timber processing and asbestos exposure.