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Entries with tag <em>risks of stomach cancer</em>.

Can Stomach Cancer be Hereditary?

Can Stomach Cancer be Hereditary?

Recent research has uncovered several different risk factors that are linked to higher chances of developing stomach cancer.  Most risk factors of developing stomach factors include things other than genes and heredity.  However, there is one genetic condition that is strongly linked to developing stomach cancer and that is hereditary diffuse gastric cancer. This is a syndrome that is inherited and can greatly increase the likelihood of getting stomach cancer. However, this condition is actually quite rare occurring in approximately 150 families worldwide. But if you do have the condition, it increases your chances of getting stomach cancer quite considerably. In fact, those who have the condition have a lifetime stomach cancer risk of about 70% to 80%. This condition is caused by a gene mutation, for which there is actually a test available. Again, the condition is rare, but will substantially increase the risk of getting stomach cancer.

However, for most people who do get stomach cancer, there are no known genetic links. For most, their stomach cancer developed as a result of some other risk factor. For those countries where stomach cancer is most common it seems that the following risk factors are far more strongly linked to developing the disease than heredity:

  • Lifestyle. Smoking and drinking excessively has been shown to have a strong link to developing the condition. This is also true of a diet low in fruits and vegetables but high in salted and preserved foods. Obesity is also a risk factor for getting stomach cancer.
  • Helicobactor pylori. This is an infection that can cause inflammation along the lining of the stomach as well as indigestion. Its existence, especially for a prolonged period of time, has also been linked with developing stomach cancer.
  • Pernicious anemia. This is a disorder that impacts the lining of the stomach. Its results are anemia and low levels of B12.
  • Atrophic Gastritis. This is a known stomach infection that seems to be chronic and ongoing.
  • Familial Polyposis. This is a condition that is actually genetically linked. In this condition, the patient develops and grows several polyps all along the lining of the digestive system.
  • Type A blood. Type A blood is also a risk factor for getting stomach cancer. This could be considered to be genetically linked though the exact linkage is unknown.

Of all of these conditions, only familial polyposis and pernicious anemia can be genetically linked or passed down from one generation to the next. Of course, though very rare, hereditary diffuse gastric cancer does create a strong link to stomach cancer.

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