Cancer: The popular food item that can double the risk of cancer – loads consumed in UK

Stomach cancer: Surgeon explains the symptoms

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Cancer is a catchall phrase that encompasses a host of diseases characterised by a rapid proliferation of malignant cells. Fortunately, the disease has become more survivable, owing to a host of scientific advancements. But despite significant gains in cancer research, health bodies stress that the focus should remain on prevention. Certain foods, such as salt, are believed to double the risk of one cancer.

A study that looked at the dietary, drinking and smoking habits of more than 40,000 Japanese people over a period of 11 years, found salt to be influential in the risk of stomach cancer.

For their research, a team from the National Cancer Centre Research Institute at Kashiwa looked at questionnaires outlining the dietary habits of all the participants.

A total of 358 cases of stomach cancer were detected among 18.684 men, and 128 cases of the disease were recorded among 20,381.

The doubling in risk occurred among the highest consumers of salt, which are estimated to consume between 12 and 15 grams of salt per day.

READ MORE: Cancer: Two crucial changes you can make to reduce chance of getting disease

The leader of the study, Shoichiro Tsugane, said: “In addition to salt intake, our study also shows that smoking and low consumption of fruit and vegetables increases the risk of stomach cancer particularly in men.”

The health risks associated with salt intake generally include cardiovascular ailments, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

This is because salt intake causes water reduction, which forces the heart to work harder.

But the study suggested that people who consistently eat highly salted meals could see their risk of stomach cancer double too.

Tim Kay, an epidemiologist working for Cancer Research UK, said the association of stomach cancer was particularly strong with salted fish and pickled vegetables.

UK public health officials have long presented a strong case against salt consumption.

In fact, they’ve made leaps and bounds to reduce salt intake in the nation over the past couple of decades, and their efforts have paid off.

Since 2004, companies have reduced salt levels in processed foods, which led to a significant drop in cardiovascular disease.

Stomach cancer symptoms

NHS inform explains that around 7,000 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer each year.

The disease was ranked the sixth most common cancer in the world in 2020, accounting for 1.09 million diagnoses.

The initial symptoms of stomach cancer include persistent indigestion, heartburn, trapped wind and frequent burping.

Feeling very full or bloated after meals may also be indicative of the disease.

In the more advanced stages, patients may experience blood in stools, loss of appetite and weight loss.

The health body says: “As the early symptoms of stomach cancer are similar to those of many other conditions, the cancer is often advanced by the time it’s diagnosed.

“It’s therefore important to get any possible symptoms of stomach cancer checked by your GP as soon as possible.”

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