Food for fighting stomach cancer
What is Stomach Cancer?
When cancer cells begin forming in the inner lining of the stomach, it is termed as stomach cancer or gastric cancer. Gastric adenocarcinoma (glandular tissue) is the most common type of cancer. Lymphomas (cancer involving the lymphatic system) and sarcomas (cancer of the connective tissue, such as muscle, fat, or blood vessels) are other types of stomach cancers.
It is not known as to exactly what makes cancer cells start growing in the stomach. Some of the factors that may increase the risk for development of gastric cancer include:
- Age 50 and over
- Male gender
- Having blood type A
- Long term inflammation of stomach
- Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacterial infection
- Megaloblastic (pernicious) anemia
- History of stomach polyps or stomach lymphoma
- Race (more common in Asians, Pacific Islanders, Hispanics, and African Americans than in non-Hispanic Caucasian Americans)
- Family history of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis or BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations
- Family history of stomach cancer (inherited cancers)
Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Some of the symptoms of stomach cancer include loss of appetite, indigestion, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, and trouble in swallowing food, blood in stool, weight loss, yellowish skin or eyes, weakness, diarrhea.Having these symptoms doesn’t mean you have definitely have stomach cancer. But it’s advisable to consult a doctor.
Stomach cancer is diagnosed by a physical exam, medical history, endoscopy, and biopsy of the tissue. The treatment of stomach cancer depends on the size and location of the tumor, the stage of the disease and the patient’s general health
How to prevent stomach cancer?
Although anyone can develop stomach cancer, certain food items may play a key role in the prevention of stomach cancer.
Reduce high salt intake
Studies have shown that a high intake of salt can increase the risk of stomach cancer. Many packaged and processed foods, such as commercial cereals, canned vegetables, and frozen meals also contain salt.
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene
Vitamin A and Beta Carotene also help in reducing the risk of stomach cancer. Sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, squash, dark green leafy vegetables, peas, dried apricots, sweet red peppers, cantaloupe melon, etc. are some good source of Vitamin A and Beta Carotene.
Cut down excess protein
Pancreatin is an enzyme which helps in digesting proteins. It also helps in fighting cancer cells. A less protein rich diet will mean freer Pancreatin, which will mean better protection from cancer cells.
More Quercetin rich food
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that has strong anti-cancer, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties and that is present in high concentration in red and yellow onions. According to one study, half an onion a day could reduce the risk of stomach cancer by 50%. Some of the other sources of Quercetin include; apples, lovage, capers, broccoli, cherries, citrus fruits, red grapes, tea, lingonberries, raspberries, and cranberries.
Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by as much as a factor of 12!
Turmeric contains curcumin, which has strong anti-cancer properties which make it highly effective against almost any type of cancer, including stomach cancer.
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Try to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid stale or non-fresh food items. Eat green vegetables that are rich in chlorophyll.
Reduce animal fat
Diet rich in animal fat may increase the risk of stomach cancer. Omega-6 fatty acids present in animal fat may enhance the growth of cancer cells. Whereas omega-3 fatty acids present in walnuts, flaxseeds, and fatty fish, are believed to have a protective effect against cancer. But it is advisable to reduce the fat consumption.
Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Vitamin C and vitamin E are rich in antioxidants and improve the immunity of the body.They also reduce the formation of nitrosamine, a stomach cancer causing substance, when there is no fat in the stomach. In presence of the fat, the action reverses. Oranges, guavas, kiwi fruit, berries etc. are rich in Vitamin C. Almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, kiwi fruit etc. are good source of Vitamin E.