Most people diagnosed with stomach cancer are over the age of 60. However, in the United States, stomach cancers in people under 40 have been steadily rising.
In the early
Overall, the number of people diagnosed with stomach cancer in the United States has been dropping by about
Read on to learn more about age and risk factors for stomach cancer.
According to data from the National Cancer Institute’s
|Age||Rate per 100,000 people|
|15 to 39||0.9|
|40 to 64||8.4|
|65 to 74||26.7|
Many people incorrectly believe that stomach cancer only affects older people and ignore the early warning signs. Delaying diagnosis gives the cancer a chance to spread and makes it more difficult to treat.
The number of people being diagnosed with stomach cancer each year in the United States is decreasing. However, the percentage of stomach cancers in younger people (called
The number of stomach cancers in young adults has decreased in most countries, but rates in the United States in people under 40 have remained stable or increased slightly.
It’s not clear why this is occurring, but factors such as increasing obesity rates and lifestyle factors may be contributing. Rates of colorectal cancer in people under 50 are also increasing and have
In a 2018
Noncardia stomach cancer is primarily caused by Helicobacter pylori infection and autoimmune gastritis. The researchers speculated that increased use of antibiotics in recent years may be linked to increased rates of autoimmune gastritis, and this might be contributing to increased rates of noncardia stomach cancer.
Researchers have identified the following risk factors for developing stomach cancer:
- Age: Most people are over 60 when they’re diagnosed with stomach cancer and about
60%of people are over the age of 65.
- Sex: Men are about twice as likely as women to develop stomach cancer.
- H. pylori infection: H. Pylori is a bacteria that’s thought to live in the stomach of more than
44%of the world’s population. Infection with H. pylori is thought to be one of the main risk factors for stomach cancer.
- Ethnicity: In the United States, stomach cancer is
- African Americans
- Hispanic Americans
- Native Americans
- Asian and Pacific Islanders
- Diet: Eating a high-salt diet has been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer. Eating fruits and vegetables may lower the risk.
- Previous health condition: Some previous health conditions may increase your risk of stomach cancer such as:
- previous stomach surgery
- low stomach acid (achlorhydria)
- some type of stomach polyps
- Occupational exposure: Exposure to certain types of dust and fumes may increase your risk of stomach cancer. People at increased risk may include:
- miners and quarry workers
- construction workers
- Tobacco and alcohol: People who smoke have about
double the riskof stomach cancer as non-smokers. Researchers have also identified a link with alcohol consumption, especially in people who consume three drinksor more per day.
- Obesity: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer in men, but it’s unknown if it increases the risk in women.
- Family history: People with a sibling or parent with stomach cancer are at an increased risk of developing it too. Some cancer syndromes such as hereditary diffuse gastric cancer are passed through families.
- Common variable immune deficiency: People with common variable immune deficiency are more likely to develop lymphoma and stomach cancer.
- Type A blood: According to the
American Cancer Society, people with type A blood develop stomach cancer more often for unknown reasons.
According to the
Symptoms are often general and can have many other potential causes. They may include:
- blood in your stool
- loss of appetite
- unintentional weight loss
- abdominal pain, often above your belly button
- heartburn or indigestion
- nausea or vomiting
- swollen belly
How is stomach cancer diagnosed?
The most common test used to diagnose stomach cancer is called an endoscopy. It involves putting a long tube down your throat with a tiny camera that allows doctors to see the inside of your stomach. Doctors can take a small tissue sample with tools on the endoscope to confirm a cancer diagnosis after lab analysis.
How is stomach cancer treated?
The primary treatments for stomach cancer are:
Is stomach cancer curable?
Stomach cancer caught in the early stages may be curable, but it becomes harder to treat the farther it spreads. The 5-year relative
What is the most common type of stomach cancer?
Stomach cancer most often develops in people over the age of 60. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 68. Some of the main risk factors include H. pylori infection, male sex, and eating a high-salt diet.
The overall rate of stomach cancer in the United States is going down, but the percentage of stomach cancers in young people has been increasing. It’s not clear why this is happening, but factors such as increasing obesity rates, dietary factors, and increased use of antibiotics may be playing a role.