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Stomach Cancer: Debunking Myths and Uncovering Facts About Gastric Cancer | health news

Stomach cancer, medically known as gastric cancer, is a serious health concern that arises when abnormal cells multiply uncontrollably in the lining of the stomach. Often diagnosed at an advanced stage, symptoms can include indigestion, unintentional weight loss and abdominal discomfort. Factors such as age, gender, family history and Helicobacter pylori infection contribute to its risk.

Zee News English spoke to Dr. Nishant Jangir, MS MCH, Assistant Professor, SMS Medical College, Jaipur to help dispel many myths surrounding stomach cancer and uncover the truth around these misconceptions.

Myth: Stomach cancer is always detectable.

Fact: Stomach cancer can develop without any noticeable symptoms in its early stages.

Contrary to popular belief, stomach cancer may not always present obvious symptoms in its early stages. Some individuals may experience vague discomfort, mild indigestion, or no symptoms at all. Regular medical check-ups and screenings become very important, especially for those with a family history of stomach cancer or risk factors such as Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection.

Myth: Spicy food and stress cause stomach cancer.

Fact: Although diet and stress play a role in overall health, they are not direct causes of stomach cancer.

Spicy foods and stress are often wrongly blamed for stomach cancer. Although a healthy lifestyle is essential for healthy living, stomach cancer genetics, H. pylori infection, is more closely associated with factors such as smoking and certain dietary factors. A balanced diet, stress management, and avoiding tobacco may contribute to overall health but are not solely responsible for stomach cancer.

Myth: Stomach cancer only affects older people.

Fact: Stomach cancer can occur in people of all ages, but the risk increases with age.

While it’s true that stomach cancer is more common in older adults, especially those over 65, it can affect people of any age. Younger people can get stomach cancer, especially if they have certain risk factors or a family history of the disease. Regular medical check-ups are important for early detection and effective treatment.

Myth: Abdominal pain must mean cancer.

Facts: Abdominal pain can be caused by a variety of conditions, and not all cases are related to cancer.

Abdominal pain is a common symptom of numerous gastrointestinal problems, from indigestion to ulcers. Although persistent or severe pain should not be ignored, it does not automatically indicate cancer. Stomach cancer symptoms can be subtle, making it important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Myth: Stomach cancer is always fatal.

Fact: Survival rates for stomach cancer vary, and early detection significantly improves outcomes.

Although stomach cancer can be a serious and potentially life-threatening condition, advances in medical science have improved treatment options and outcomes. Early diagnosis plays an important role in the success of treatment. Regular screening, especially for at-risk individuals, can detect stomach cancer at a more manageable stage.

Myth: Stomach cancer is not preventable.

Fact: Certain lifestyle choices and regular screenings can reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Although some risk factors, such as genetics, cannot be changed, adopting a healthy lifestyle can contribute to stomach cancer prevention. Avoiding tobacco, maintaining a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, h. pylori infection and attending regular medical check-ups are proactive steps to reduce the risk of stomach cancer.

Consultation with healthcare professionals is essential for accurate information, screening and personalized guidance based on individual health profiles.

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