Gastric cancer is responsible for the sixth most deaths among common and fatal cancers in Hong Kong, accounting for about 4% of all new cancer cases. In 2018, 687 people died of gastric cancer. According to data from the Hospital Authority’s Hong Kong Cancer Registry, a total of 1,314 cases of gastric cancer were reported in 2017, accounting for 15.8% of all total cancer cases. The ratio of male to female patients was approximately 1.4:1.
What is Gastric Cancer?
The stomach is a part of the digestive system, which is responsible for secreting gastric acid to digest food and transfer it into the intestine to continue the digestive process. Gastric cancer refers to abnormal changes in stomach cells and the development of malignant tumors.
Early stage gastric cancer may show no obvious symptoms, which are similar to general gastrointestinal discomfort and indigestion. Many patients who show obvious symptoms already have stage 2 or 3 gastric cancer when diagnosed.
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in upper abdomen
- Feeling bloated after eating
- Vomit that includes blood
- Bleeding or black stools
- Weight loss
Gene mutations in gastric cells cause normal cells to develop into malignant tumors. In addition, studies have found that patients infected with Helicobacter pylori have an increased risk of gastric cancer.
- Men are at higher risk than women
- Helicobacter pylori infection
- Eating habits: long-term consumption of high-salt, pickled, and smoked foods