Causes

A probable factor in developing gastric cancer is a Helicobacter pylori infection leading to atrophic gastritis (inflammation and damage to the inner layer of the stomach). Dietary factors linked to gastric cancer are associated with either gastric irritation or exposure to muta-genic or carcinogenic compounds. They include a high intake of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, nitrite-preserved foods, starch, and fat, along with a low intake of fruits, vegetables, and animal proteins. Associated environmental factors include exposure to ionizing radiation and being employed in metal products or chemical industries. Physiological factors are related to a rise in gastric pH or the formation of mutagenic or carcinogenic compounds. Other associated conditions include gastric ulcers, gastric polyps, pernicious anemia, intestinal metaplasia, achlorhydria, hypochlorhydria, gastric atrophy, and chronic peptic ulcers. Similarly, patients who have undergone a partial gastrectomy for benign gastric disease are predisposed to developing gastric cancer. Genetic factors that are linked to an increased incidence of gastric cancer include a family history of stomach cancer and type A blood.

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