Risk Factors for Stomach Cancer
by Rosalyn Carson-DeWitt, MD
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop stomach cancer with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of developing stomach cancer. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
In general, risk increases in people over 50 years old, but most stomach cancers are found in people aged 60-85 years old. Stomach cancer is twice as likely to affect men than women. Stomach cancer risk is also higher in people of eastern Asia, eastern Europe, and South American descent.
Stomach cancer has been strongly associated with lifestyle factors. The following factors may increase the risk:
Several medical conditions may increase the risk of stomach cancer. These include:
Family History and Genetics
Stomach cancer tends to run in families. Other cancers with genetic factors may also increase the risk. These include
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Gastric cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/stomach/patient/stomach-treatment-pdq. Updated April 27, 2017. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Smoking and the digestive system. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/smoking-digestive-system. Updated September 2013. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Stomach cancer. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:
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Updated January 2017. Accessed September 1, 2017.
What are the risk factors for stomach cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/stomach-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Updated February 10, 2016. Accessed September 1, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 9/1/2017
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