Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI] - Stomach Cancer Prevention
Avoiding risk factors and increasing protective factors may help prevent stomach cancer.
Avoiding cancer risk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.
For more information, U.S. residents may call the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. A trained Cancer Information Specialist is available to answer your questions.
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The risk of stomach cancer is increased in people who come from countries where stomach cancer is common.
The following are protective factors that may decrease the risk of stomach cancer:
Studies show that smoking is linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Stopping smoking or never smoking decreases the risk of stomach cancer. Smokers who stop smoking lower their risk of having stomach cancer over time.
Treating Helicobacter pylori infection
Studies show that chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria is linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer. When H. pylori bacteria infects the stomach, the stomach may become inflamed and cause changes in the cells that line the stomach. Over time, these cells become abnormal and may become cancer.
Some studies show that treating H. pylori infection with antibiotics lowers the risk of stomach cancer. More studies are needed to find out whether treating H. pylori infection with antibiotics lowers the number of deaths from stomach cancer or keeps changes in the stomach lining, that can lead to cancer, from getting worse.
It is not known if the following factors lower the risk of stomach cancer or have no effect on the risk of stomach cancer: