The causes

  • The exact causes of cancer of the stomach are still unknown

  • It is more common in men, particularly those in late middle age, than for women

  • Diet: consumption of high-salted, picked and smoked food can increase the risk

  • People who have pernicious anaemia (a vitamin deficiency), stomach polyps and Helicobacter pylori infection (a bacterial stomach infection)

  • Stomach cancer is also more common in people with a high risk of colorectal cancer

  • Smokers have higher risk than non-smokers

  • Family history: people with close relatives having stomach cancer have twice the risk of getting stomach cancer

The symptoms

  • Persistent indigestion

  • Loss of appetite

  • Weight loss

  • A bloated feeling after eating

  • Vomiting, (including blood)

  • Blood in the stools (bowel motion) or black stools

  • Swelling of lower abdomen

  • Anemia, fatigue and weakness

If you have any of the above symptoms you must have them checked by your doctor but remember, they are common to many conditions other than stomach cancer. Most people with these symptoms will not have cancer.

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