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My mother died of staomach cancer which had already spread to her liver and bones when she was diagnosed. She died 3 months later. Does stomach cancer put me at a higher risk for ctomach or clon cancer?

By Anonymous September 8, 2010 - 9:01am
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Anon - Without knowing your mom's complete medical history, or yours, it is difficult to determine your risk. Your doctor will best be able to help you, but you can also help yourself by learning as much as you can about preventive measures.

The National Cancer Institute has in-depth information on steps that you can take to reduce your risks for stomach cancer. You can find that information here: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/gastric/patient

Stomach cancer can sometimes be associated with known risk factors for the disease. Many risk factors are modifiable, though not all can be avoided.

There is strong evidence that smoking is linked with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Avoiding or stopping smoking decreases the risk of stomach cancer. Smokers who quit lower their risk of developing stomach cancer over time compared to smokers who have not quit.

Excessive salt intake has been identified as a possible risk factor for stomach cancer. Having a high intake of fresh fruits and vegetables may be associated with a decreased risk of stomach cancer. Studies have suggested that eating foods that contain beta-carotene and vitamin C may decrease the risk of stomach cancer, especially if intake of micronutrients is inadequate.

There is strong evidence that infection with a certain bacteria, Helicobacter pylori, is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Some studies show that treating Helicobacter pylori infection with antibiotics decreases the risk of stomach cancer.

Colon cancer is also a concern of yours. The best thing you can do is to have regular colonoscopy screenings. These detect non-cancerous growths at an early stage when doctors can remove them and keep them from becoming cancerous. You can learn more about that here: http://www.empowher.com/colorectal-cancer/content/michelle-shares-her-colonoscopy-journey-video

One of the best things you can do for your own health is to be sure to schedule regular checkups and screenings, and to work with your doctor if you notice any signs of abnormalities. More people are living with cancer today because of early detection and early treatment, and the steps you've already taken to learn more about taking care of your own health are going to make a difference.

Please let us know if you have any additional questions or we can help you further.

Take care,

September 8, 2010 - 6:26pm

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for your question and for finding EmpowHER. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. It is important you ask the hereditary question. Your doctor would be the best resource to answer based on your personal health and family history. Ask your practitioner when you should start endoscopy and colonoscopy screening.
However, I've done a little reading on stomach and colon cancer, and did find a mention of heredity being a risk factor for developing either. There are other risk factors, such as: smoking, not eating enough fruits and vegetables, eating too many salty and smoked foods, chronic gastritis, and others. There are things you can do to help improve your chances of preventing stomach cancer:
I hope this information helps. Let us know if you have additional questions. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

September 8, 2010 - 11:35am
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