Stomach cancer: Surgeon explains the symptoms
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Cancerous cells grow and reproduce rapidly in the body, which often renders efforts to stop them futile. Naturally, prevention is better than a cure. Although there is no way to prevent or cure cancer, you can modify your risk.
Researchers are increasingly turning their attention to the role specific dietary components play in influencing the risk of cancer.
One of the more surprising associations has been drawn between pickled vegetable intake and the risk of stomach cancer.
Pickled vegetables are those products for which preparation is carried out by an edible acid (which is added or formed in situ by fermentation) and preservation is due, at least partially, to the presence of this acid.
“An increased risk of gastric [stomach] cancer for pickled vegetable and salted fish intake has been suggested, yet the lack of a dose-response association warrants a quantitative analysis,” wrote researchers in the peer-reviewed journal Cancers.
A dose-response relationship is one in which increasing levels of exposure are associated with either an increasing or a decreasing risk of the outcome. In this case, increased risk of cancer being the outcome.
To plug this gap in knowledge, researchers conducted a meta-analysis, combining results from their analysis of two large Korean cohort studies and those from previous prospective cohort studies.
They investigated the association of pickled vegetable and salted fish intake with gastric cancer in the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study and the Korean Multi-center Cancer Cohort Study.
They then searched for observational studies published until November 2019.
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What did the researchers find out?
What did the researchers find out?
They wrote: “In this systematic meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, we found a significant association between increased gastric cancer incidence risk and high intake of pickled vegetables.”
The researchers observed stomach cancer incidence was 1.15 times higher for a 40 g/day increment in pickled vegetable intake and 1.24 times higher, comparing the highest to the lowest intake.
“The result from our dose-response meta-analysis further strengthens previous meta-analyses, which showed an increased risk of gastric cancer, comparing the highest to the lowest intake of pickled vegetables and salted fish,” the researchers concluded.
“Our findings supported the evidence that high intake of pickled vegetable and salted fish is associated with elevated risk of gastric cancer incidence.”
General risk factors for stomach cancer
Anyone can get stomach cancer. It’s not always clear what causes it.
However, your risk of developing stomach cancer depends on many things including your age and lifestyle.
Having one or more risk factors doesn’t mean that you will definitely get stomach cancer.
According to Cancer Research UK, infection with Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) causes around 40 out of 100 (around 40 percent) stomach cancers.
H. pylori is a bacteria that lives in the mucous of the lining of the stomach.
“For most people, having a H. pylori infection will not cause any problems. But in some cases long term infection can cause inflammation and stomach ulcers,” explains Cancer Research UK.
There is also some evidence that diet may interact with H pylori to increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Other risk factors include:
- Age and gender
- Smoking tobacco
- Being overweight or obese
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