November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, a time to bring attention to this devastating condition and help raise money for research and a cure. Mission Search proudly acknowledges national health observances like this one to support education and help bring about a healthcare revolution in regards to research and understanding.
Making up less than 2% of all new cancer cases, stomach cancer may not be the most common condition. Despite its lack of prevalence, it is still the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. Older adults make up the most considerable portion of new stomach cancer diagnosis, although it may occur at any age, depending on one’s risk factors.
Risk factors for stomach cancer include:
- Age: Stomach cancer typically occurs in adults over the age of 60
- Smoking: Long-term smokers have a greater chance of developing this condition
- Diet: A diet consisting of heavily smoked or salted foods can increase the risk for stomach cancer
- Family history: Having a close relative with stomach cancer can increase one’s risk
Stomach cancer is relatively slow-growing, so symptoms typically do not present themselves until the cancer has advanced into later stages. Early signs of stomach cancer include:
- Feeling very full at meals
- Difficulties swallowing
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Frequent burping
- Chronic indigestion
- Stomach aches
- Weight loss
You may notice these symptoms sound similar to other, less severe conditions. Because of this, it is challenging to diagnose stomach cancer in its early stages. Health observance months like November are so important to support education regarding prevention and early detection of stomach cancer.
This month, we ask that you keep those suffering from stomach cancer in your hearts and in your minds. Please consider donating to nonprofits like No Stomach for Cancer or The American Cancer Society to help raise money for cancer research.