International report shows possible causes of gastric cancer
Drinking alcohol, eating processed meat, and being overweight increase the risk of people developing stomach cancer. So we should eat less meat and limit our alcohol consumption to protect our health. Exercise and healthy eating helps to avoid being overweight.
In a systematic review of global research, scientists from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) found that daily alcohol consumption, processed meat consumption, and obesity are factors that promote the development of stomach cancer. The researchers have now published a report that shows the results of their study.
Report analyzes data from 17.5 million subjects
The published report: Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Gastric Cancer showed that drinking three or more alcoholic drinks a day is enough to increase our risk of developing gastric cancer. The authors warn that men, smokers and ex-smokers are most affected. It is also enough to eat fifty grams (amount of a hot dog) of processed meat a day to increase the risk of cancer of the lower abdomen by 18 percent. There is already evidence that the consumption of processed meat also increases the risk of colon cancer, the doctors say.
New results prove that upper gastric cancers (cardia) are often related to being overweight or obese. The current report shows that our risk of cardia stomach cancer increases by 23 percent if our body mass index increases by five points each, the scientists explain. The report analyzed global scientific research into gastric cancer. To this end, the researchers examined 98 older studies. These included 17.5 million adults, of whom around 77,000 later developed gastric cancer.
There are easy ways to avoid stomach cancer
There are about a million new gastric cancer cases worldwide each year. The disease is the fifth most common cancer and the third deadliest cancer, the authors say. In the United States alone, one in seven (15 percent) gastric cancer cases could be prevented if people don't drink more than three alcoholic beverages a day, don't eat processed meat, and maintain a healthy body weight. This could prevent around 4,000 gastric cancer cases per year, the experts say.
The report should be a wake-up call. Obesity has now been linked to eleven types of cancer, but there are simple steps that can help prevent cancer and improve health, the authors say. Eating more vegetables, beans, fruits, and other plant foods, combined with a little more exercise, could already significantly reduce the risk of cancer, said Alice Bender, director of nutrition programs at AICR.
So the risk of developing stomach cancer is related to a number of different lifestyle factors, the doctor adds. The findings of the current report help protect the public's health and better understand why the factors mentioned can influence the risk of developing gastric cancer, the researchers say. (as)