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How can I decrease my risk of having stomach cancer?

Dr. Kathleen Wolin, ScD
Preventive Medicine
To decrease your risk of stomach cancer, you need to watch your salt intake and limit the amount of sodium you consume in your diet. In this video, cancer researcher Kate Wolin, ScD, discusses which foods to avoid and some tips that can help.
Robynne K. Chutkan, MD
Gastroenterology
This is what you can do to minimize your risk for developing stomach cancer:
  • If you have multiple family members with stomach cancer, consider getting genetic testing.
  • Eat a mostly plant-based diet consisting of deeply pigmented fruits and vegetables. Avoid excessive consumption of smoked or preserved meats.
  • Limit alcohol and avoid tobacco.
  • If you have symptoms such as abdominal pain, blood in the stool, anemia, feeling full faster, nausea, vomiting or unexplained weight loss, seek medical attention from a gastroenterologist who will examine the inside of your stomach with an instrument called an endoscope—the best way to diagnose stomach cancer.
Most risk factors for stomach cancer, such as family history, cannot be prevented. However, people can do the following to help decrease their cancer risk:
  • Quit smoking. Quitting smoking or chewing tobacco can decrease the risk of developing cancer.
  • Control weight. Maintaining a healthy weight with a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly, can help prevent cancer.

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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.