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.
Endometrial cancer is a disease that primarily affects postmenopausal women at an average age of 60 years at diagnosis. Risk factors include postmenopausal estrogen therapy, obesity, a high-fat diet, reproductive factors like nulliparity, early menarche and late menopause, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and tamoxifen use. Women with hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome have a markedly increased risk of endometrial cancer compared with women in the general population.
The following are risk factors for stomach cancer:
Certain medical conditions
Having any of the following medical conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer:
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection of the stomach.
Intestinal metaplasia (a condition in which the cells that line the stomach are replaced by cells that normally line the intestines).
Chronic atrophic gastritis (thinning of the stomach lining caused by long-term inflammation of the stomach).
Pernicious anemia (a type of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency).
Stomach (gastric) polyps.
Certain genetic conditions
Genetic conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer in people with any of the following:
A mother, father, sister, or brother who has had stomach cancer.
Type A blood.
Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
Hereditary nonpolyposis colon cancer (HNPCC; Lynch syndrome).
The risk of stomach cancer may be increased in people who:
Eat a diet low in fruits and vegetables.
Eat a diet high in salted or smoked foods.
Eat foods that have not been prepared or stored the way they should be.
Environmental factors that may increase the risk of stomach cancer include:
Being exposed to radiation.
Working in the rubber or coal industry.
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.