Nepal | July 11, 2020

Stomach cancer higher in men

Sabitri Dhakal
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Kathmandu, November 17

Cases of stomach cancer have been reported higher in males than in females.

“Sedentary lifestyle, fatty diet, alcohol intake, smoking and consumption of junk food and increasing life expectancy are main reasons for stomach cancer in males,” said Prakash Raj Neupane, senior consultant oncologist and president of Surgical Oncology Society of Nepal.

Smoking and drinking can cause stomach cancer. Working outdoors, intake of food rich in oil and spices, and consumption of smoked meat items are some of the causes of stomach cancer in men, added Neupane. Infection of helicobacter pylori, family history of stomach cancer and intake of diets rich in salt also cause stomach cancer.

Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) is a type of bacteria found in raw meat. This germ can enter one’s body and live in the digestive tract. It causes chronic inflammation in the stomach and duodenum resulting in ulcer. Therefore, consumption of raw meat should be avoided, Neupane advised.

Men are more likely to indulge in smoking and drinking compared to women. Therefore, there have been more cases of men suffering from cancer. Genetics is another reason of stomach cancer in men. Anyone in the family with a history of cancer is likely to suffer from the disease. Risk of cancer increases with age, according to Neupane.

Nausea and vomiting, frequent heartburn, loss of appetite, anaemia, sudden weight loss, constant bloating, early satiety (feeling full after eating only a small amount), bloody stool, fatigue, indigestion and pain in stomach are some of the symptoms of stomach cancer. “Despite higher number  of cancer cases among men, they visit hospitals when the cancer progresses to an advanced stage. An early treatment helps prevent cancer spread,” said  Neupane. One can reduce the risks of cancer by maintaining healthy weight, regular exercise and eating healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables.

Tobacco and alcohol are harmful for health. Therefore one should avoid consumption of tobacco and alcohol. Regular check-ups and cancer screening tests are necessary.

Patients’ record

Year Male Female
2014 67 39
2015 55 59
2016 88 55
2017 110 51
2018 97 58

Source: Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital

A version of this article appears in print on November 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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