Gastrointestinal Specialists Raise Awareness of Stomach Cancer Symptoms and Prevention

Gastrointestinal Specialists Raise Awareness of Stomach Cancer Symptoms and Prevention | Healthcare 360 Magazine

Gastrointestinal (GI) experts are warning of a concerning trend: while stomach cancer rates are declining among individuals over 60, they are on the rise among younger demographics. The recent passing of country music icon Toby Keith at the age of 62, after a battle with stomach cancer, has brought renewed attention to this issue.

Impact of High-Profile Cases

Dr. Joseph Salhab, a Gastroenterologist, emphasized the importance of Keith’s public battle with stomach cancer in raising awareness of the disease. “When somebody as popular and notable as he was dies of something so shockingly and suddenly, it brings a lot more attention to it,” stated Dr. Salhab.

Understanding Stomach Cancer

According to experts, stomach cancer can arise either sporadically or due to genetic predisposition. The sporadic form, which comprises the majority of cases, occurs without any identifiable family history or high-risk factors. Stomach Cancer symptoms include heartburn, anemia, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, and regurgitation of food.

Dr. Rutika Mehta, a GI medical oncologist, highlighted the impact of lifestyle choices on stomach cancer risk. Factors such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor diet can significantly increase the likelihood of developing the disease. Conversely, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fiber, and vitamin C can help lower the risk.

GI experts warn of stomach cancer symptoms and preventative measures you can take

Preventative Measures

Experts emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of stomach cancer. Regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and consuming a balanced diet are key preventive measures. Individuals who have concerns about their health or experience concerning symptoms are urged to consult with a medical professional.

Screening Challenges

Unlike some other cancers, the United States does not currently have routine screening protocols for stomach cancer. This is due in part to the relatively low incidence rate, which accounts for only around 1.5% of total cancer diagnoses annually. However, Dr. Salhab anticipates that new guidelines for screening may emerge in the coming years to target high-risk populations.

As stomach cancer continues to affect individuals of all ages, raising awareness of stomach cancer symptoms and risk factors is paramount. By promoting healthy lifestyle choices and encouraging proactive healthcare management, experts aim to reduce the burden of stomach cancer and improve outcomes for patients in the future.

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