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Gastric Cancer And Gender, Age And Race

1989 words - 8 pages

For one, gastric cancer affects many people. In 2011, an estimated 74,035 people in the US had been inflicted with gastric cancer ("SEER Stat Fact," 2013). Additionally, this year, an estimated 22,220 additional people will receive the diagnosis of the stomach cancer ("Stomach (Gastric Cancer)," 2014). Though these numbers may not seem to indicate much of a problem in the United States when compared to prostate cancer's 233,000 estimated new cases and breast cancer's 232,670 estimated new cases, gastric cancer has a significant impact worldwide, being the cancer with the second highest mortality rate ("New Targeted Drug," 2014; "SEER Stat Fact," 2013).
To illustrate, gender can make a significant difference in mortality ratios. Gastric cancer is almost twice as likely to kill men than women. In 2006 - 2010, gastric cancer accounted for 4.9 out of 10,000 deaths in males while only accounting for 2.5 out of 10,000 deaths in females (SEER Stat Fact, 2013). In addition to gender, race also plays a role in increasing the likelihood of developing gastric cancer. People of African and Asian descent are more likely to have the cancer than any other people group ("Stomach Cancer," 2012). Compared to the average of 10.3 cases of gastric cancer per 100,000 people, black males have a ratio of 15.3 cases per 100,000 people while Asian males have a ratio of 14.9 cases per 100,000 people. Similarly, while females average a ratio of 5.3 new cases per 100,000 people, African women have a ratio of 8.5 cases out of 100,000 people, and Asian women have a ratio of 9.0 cases per 100,000 people. Another trait shared by many victims is old age. Elderly people are more susceptible to gastric cancer than younger people are. The median age at diagnosis is 69 years old. However, the highest occurrence of the cancer is in the group between 75 years to 84 years of age. ("SEER Stat Fact," 2013). A history of stomach problems also plays a part in increasing the risk of stomach cancer. For example, people who have had an infection of the stomach due to Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria known to cause stomach ulcers, have a higher chance of developing gastric cancer. ("Stomach cancer," 2014).
For one, family genetics can be a cause of stomach cancer, making a person's cells more predisposed to mutate. A person with a family history of gastric cancer is 2 - 3 times more likely to be afflicted with the cancer than a person with a clean family history. Risky habits can also cause an increased the chances of having gastric cancer. For example, a smoker is more prone to stomach cancer than a nonsmoker. ("Stomach cancer," 2012) Tobacco smoke, in particular, is apt to cause cancer due to the 69 carcinogenic chemicals within it ("Harms of Smoking," 2011). Another habit that raises a person's chance of having gastric cancer is frequent, excessive consumption of alcohol ("Stomach Cancer," 2012). Though alcohol in itself does not cause cancer, when the body metabolizes alcohol, the body...

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