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How common is gastrointestinal (GI) or stomach cancer?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Stomach cancer strikes about one million people each year. It is especially common in other parts of the world—in Asia, in particular—and it was something we thought we did not have to worry about in the United States. However, recent reports have uncovered a disturbing new trend: a surprising rise in stomach cancer rates among young people in the United States, especially among African Americans and Latinos.

Stomach cancer used to be one of the most common forms of cancer, but it's now been surpassed by lung cancer, colon cancer, and others.

Stomach cancer is relatively uncommon in the United States, and its rate of incidence has declined over the past decades. Experts believe this decline may be due, in part, to the reduced intake of salted, cured and smoked foods.

Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

There are approximately 20,000 new cases of gastrointestinal (GI) or stomach cancer in the United States each year. Stomach cancer is more common in Japan and Eastern Asia that it is in Europe and North America. It is also more common in African-Americans than in Caucasians. Certain conditions can have increased risk of developing stomach cancer. These include chronic infection with the bacteria H. Pylori, pernicious anemia, diets rich in salt with smoked or poorly preserved foods, obesity and smoking. Certain hereditary conditions have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer including p53, BRCA, CDH-1, LYNCH syndrome, and Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.