STOMACH CANCER AWARENESS MONTH
Stomach Cancer Awareness Month in November focuses on the importance of knowing the risk factors, prevention, and early detection.
In November, when we think of our stomachs, we think of sitting around the table with our family for a hearty meal and giving thanks. That’s why this awareness campaign brings forward a wealth of information so you can have a frank discussion with the people who mean the most to you.
The average age of diagnosis for stomach cancer is 68. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2020, about 27,600 cases will be diagnosed.
Knowing the risk factors is part of tackling this deadly disease, too.
- Men are more likely than women to be diagnosed with stomach cancer.
- Ethnicity plays a role, too. In the United States, Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders are more commonly diagnosed with stomach cancer than non-Hispanic whites.
- Diets high in smoked, salted, cured, or pickled meats or vegetables have an increased risk of stomach cancer.
- Tobacco use is known to increase cancer risk, but it also increases the risk of cancers to the upper portion of the stomach.
- Obesity may increase the risk of stomach cancer.
- A family history of stomach cancer may be at risk of developing the disease.
Taking preventative measures, like maintaining a healthy body weight, routinely getting exercise, and eating a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of stomach cancer. Other preventative measures include quitting tobacco use, and limiting or quitting alcohol use may also reduce your risk.
If you have certain risk factors, speak with your physician about screenings. Early detection means early treatment. The earlier stomach cancer is found, the more likely it can be cured, and the less debilitating it will be, too.
Support Someone With Stomach Cancer
The observance is also a time to show support to those who have undergone treatment for stomach cancer. Depending on the extent of the cancer, each person may require different dietary needs during and following treatment. They likely will not be able to eat most of what is served at the traditional Thanksgiving meal. Many find it difficult to understand or comprehend not being able to eat the traditional Thanksgiving meal. If one of your guests will be someone who has been treated for stomach cancer, follow these tips to make them feel comfortable and at ease.
- Don’t insist they try anything. They know what they can and cannot have.
- Ask if there is something you can serve that will accommodate their dietary needs. Most likely you won’t have to go out of your way. Your guest will be seeking your company and some small samples of the items they can have.
- If they decline anything, there is likely a reason why.
- Don’t comment on their eating habits. Statements like, “You eat like a bird,” “Or you’re wasting away,” won’t help to improve their condition.
- If you notice something they like, offer to send any leftovers home with them so they can enjoy more of their favorites at home.
- Do ask what you can do to make them more comfortable. Sometimes a hot or cool beverage may be beneficial.
These tips apply all year long, not just Thanksgiving! Show your love and support to your friend or family member with stomach cancer.
HOW TO OBSERVE #StomachCancerAwarenessMonth
This November, check-in with your family and learn the risk factors, prevention, and early detection of stomach cancer. Support research for a cure. Share family health history. The day also reminds us to be sensitive to those who have gone through treatment for stomach cancer. This time of year may be especially difficult for them, as they may be unable to enjoy the many rich foods the way they once did. Finding ways to include them in the holidays that don’t revolve around food will show them how important they are to the family celebration.
Wear a periwinkle colored ribbon to show your support for the cause.
Use #StomachCancerAwarenessMonth on social media to join the conversation.
STOMACH CANCER AWARENESS MONTH HISTORY
In 2010, No Stomach For Cancer launched the first Stomach Cancer Awareness Month campaign. The organization stressed the importance of supporting people dealing with stomach cancer and encouraged awareness about the disease.
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