Can gastritis cause stomach cancer?

Many are the diseases that can directly or indirectly affect our stomach, that main organ of digestion that stands out for being the widest part of the digestive system, consisting of the widening of the digestive tract, located between the esophagus and the intestine. And the gastritis It becomes one of the most common conditions.

Gastritis consists of inflammation of the gastric mucosa (or stomach lining). This mucosa is formed by a layer of cells that lines our stomach inside and that acts in a very important way in the protection of the acidity of the different gastric juices.

Its causes, as we have already indicated in previous moments, tend to be very varied: they influence in a decisive way infections for example with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (which in turn causes certain types of gastritis), the consumption of alcohol and tobacco , follow a more or less prolonged treatment based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or consume spicy or very spicy foods.

There is also a type of gastritis caused by an autoimmune disease, specifically by a pernicious anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Or a type of emotional gastritis caused by nervous tension, stress and anxiety, also known as gastritis nervosa.

What is the evolution of gastritis?

We must differentiate between the existence of acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. For example, acute gastritis is a type of gastric mucosal inflammation of sudden onset and of short duration, whereas chronic gastritis is precisely quite long over time; that is, it has a long evolution.

In any case, gastritis can lead to different complications during the time that inflammation remains affecting the gastric mucosa. The most common is the appearance of a stomach ulcer (medically known by the name of gastric ulcus) or a duodenal ulcer (known as duodenal ulcus), resulting in hemorrhages or dangerous gastric perforations.

Can gastritis progress to stomach cancer?

Another possible complication with respect to the evolution of gastritis, and that ultimately tends to worry the people affected with this inflammation of the gastric lining, is the increased risk of developing stomach cancer, given that gastritis that causes damage to the gastric mucosa (especially when this damage extends over time and occurs in a prolonged manner) increases the chances of developing cancer.

This risk - two or three times higher - is especially common in people with gastritis type B as a result of infection by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, compared to uninfected people. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of stomach cancer.

Moreover, as many medical specialists say, 80% of people who do not treat their gastritis and neglect it are at greater risk of developing gastric cancer. The reason? The constant inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which in turn causes a chronic gastritis or a hypertrophy of the gastric mucosa, and from there to gastric cancer.

Unfortunately, when gastritis is neglected, it is very common for patients to end up being diagnosed with gastric cancer already in advanced stages, and it is not possible to opt for medical treatments that can help relieve symptoms, such as surgery.

What symptoms can be a sign of gastric cancer?

In the presence of gastritis and any of the symptoms that we indicate below, it is necessary to go to the doctor quickly, especially to find the cause and establish an early medical treatment. We must also bear in mind that these symptoms can be equally common in other digestive disorders and conditions, so it must always be a medical specialist who determines the diagnosis and treatment.

It is advisable to go to the doctor if you suffer from gastric acidity, burning or reflux for a month or more. On the other hand, are alarm symptoms which we indicate below: vomit with blood, black stools, pain in the pit of the stomach and a rapid and involuntary loss of weight. This article is published for informational purposes only. It can not and should not replace the consultation with a Physician. We advise you to consult your Trusted Doctor. ThemesCancer Gastrointestinal disorders

Gastric Cancer | Stephanie’s Story (June 2022)