Stomach cancer refers to cancer that starts in the stomach. It can also be called gastric cancer. The stomach is made up of 5 layers of tissue. Most stomach cancers develop in the innermost layer, called the mucosa. While there are several types of stomach cancers, by far the most common type are called adenocarcinomas. They make up 90-95% of stomach cancers.
How Common Is Stomach Cancer?1
1-2% of new cancers
Stomach cancer makes up 1-2% of all new cancers diagnosed in the US each year.
1 in 155 women
Approximately 1 in 155 women will develop pancreatic cancer in their lifetime.
1 in 96 men
Approximately 1 in 96 men will develop pancreatic cancer in their lifetime.
How Genetic Mutations Increase Stomach Cancer Risk
Women and stomach cancer risk
Risk among US women to develop stomach cancer.
Men and stomach cancer risk
Risk among US men to develop stomach cancer.
People of certain ethnicities have a higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
Stomach cancer is more common in African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian/Pacific Islanders than in Caucasians.
There are factors that can decrease risk.
A diet high in fruits and vegetables can decrease the risk of stomach cancer.
Diet, lifestyle, and other factors can increase the risk of stomach cancer.
It is estimated that smokers have twice as high a risk of developing stomach cancer as compared to non-smokers.
Exposure to certain substances for workers in coal, metal, and rubber industries seem to increase the risk of stomach cancer.
Diets that have large amounts of smoked foods, salted fish and meat, pickled vegetables, and foods with nitrates or nitrites that are common in cured meats are associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer.
Having a personal history of certain types of polyps in the stomach, called adenomas, increase the risk for stomach cancer.
Certain medical conditions such as pernicious anemia, hypertrophic gastropathy, common variable immune deficiency (CVID), or long-term infection with the bacteria H. pylori in the stomach, increase the risk of stomach cancer.
- SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Female Breast Cancer. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, National Cancer Institute Website. Accessed April 7, 2015. Available at seer.cancer.gov.
- What are the risk factors for stomach cancer?. American Cancer Society Website. Updated February 10, 2016. Available at www.cancer.org.