Gastric cancer, which is perhaps better known as stomach cancer, has several causes. Some of these are out of the individual's control, and include age and gender. Other causes that can be controlled include diet, alcohol consumption, tobacco smoking and exposure to asbestos.
One of the more common causes of gastric cancer is simply age. People over the age of 60 tend to be at more risk of developing this and other types of cancer than younger people. Basically as the years progress, the odds of getting cancer increase. This is primarily due to poorer overall body functioning which can result in stomach problems like ulcers and cancer.
Gender is another of the causes of gastric cancer. It's been proven that men are at a significantly higher risk than women. Many scientists believe that this is due to the estrogen women produce. It is thought that it helps to protect them to some degree from developing stomach cancer.
Although some factors cannot be directly controlled, there are others that can be. For example, a poor diet is one of the big causes of gastric cancer. Eating an abundance of over processed foods, high sodium intake and smoked meats all increase the chances of gastric cancer. In addition, not consuming an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables can play a role.
Frequent alcohol consumption over the course of one's lifetime is another of the common causes of gastric cancer. Binging on alcohol is known to have a host of negative health effects on many organs. Damage to the stomach is just one side effect that can occur. Although drinking occasionally is usually fine, routinely drinking in excess is a problem.
An additional cause is tobacco smoking. Although smoking is usually associated with lung problems like emphysema, it can also be one of the causes of gastric cancer. This is mainly due to the nicotine which prevents the stomach from removing many of the carcinogens that it develops over time. Individuals that experience ulcers throughout their lifetime are especially at risk if they smoke. This is because sores and lesions can occur on the stomach lining stemming from cigarette toxins.
Asbestos is an extremely harmful material that can cause all kinds of health problems including gastric cancer. Prolonged exposure to asbestos has been known to cause gastrointestinal problems that can result in cancer formation. Individuals working in places like factories, mills and construction sites are much more likely to be in contact with asbestos.