Stomach cancer risk

Preventable cases

Stomach cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

Caused by smoking

Stomach cancer cases caused by smoking, UK, 2015

 

Caused by infections

Stomach cancer cases caused by infections, UK, 2015

 

Caused by obesity

Stomach cancer cases caused by overweight and obesity, UK, 2015

 

The estimated lifetime risk of being diagnosed with stomach cancer is 1 in 76 (1%) for males, and 1 in 130 (less than 1%) for females born after 1960 in the UK.[1]

These figures take account of the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of stomach cancer in their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2016-based Life expectancies and population projections. Accessed December 2017, and Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5. 

About this data

Data is for UK, past and projected cancer incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961, ICD-10 C16.

The calculations used past and projected cancer incidence and mortality and all-cause mortality rates for those born in 1961 to project risk over the lifetime of those born in 1961 (cohort method).[1] Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

Last reviewed:

54% of stomach cancer cases in the UK are preventable.[1]

Stomach cancer is associated with a number of risk factors.[2-4]

Stomach Cancer Risk Factors

  Increases risk Decreases risk
'Sufficient' or 'convincing' evidence
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)
  • Rubber production
  • Tobacco smoking
  • X-radiation, gamma-radiation
  • Body fatness[a,c]
 
'Limited' or 'probable' evidence
  • Asbestos (all forms)
  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)
  • Inorganic lead compounds
  • Nitrate or nitrite[d]
  • Pickled vegetables (traditional Asian)
  • Processed meat[b]
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Foods preserved by salting (including salted fish, Chinese-style)
 
International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classifications.

a cardia; b non-cardia; c IARC classifies evidence on body fatness as sufficient, WCRF/AICR classifies evidence on body fatness as probable; d ingested under conditions that result in endogenous nitrosation; e WCRF/AICR classifies evidence on alcoholic drinks as probable.

See also

Want to generate bespoke preventable cancers stats statements? Download our interactive statement generator.

Find out more about the definitions and evidence for this data

Learn how attributable risk is calculated

References

  1. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  2. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122*. Accessed October 2018.
  3. Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, et al. Body Fatness and Cancer--Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 25;375(8):794-8.
  4. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed October 2016.
Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 41% of stomach cancer cases in the UK are caused by H. pylori infection.[2]

Stomach (non-cardia) cancer risk is 6 times higher in people with H. pylori infection, a pooled analysis showed.[3] This relates to H. pylori status 10+ years prior to stomach cancer diagnosis, which is the most appropriate measure: Negative H. pylori status shortly before stomach cancer diagnosis may reflect infection clearance due to the cancer itself, as H. pylori does not colonise cancer/pre-cancer cells.[3]

Stomach cancer risk is higher in CagA-positive H. pylori than in CagA-negative H pylori.[4,5] Stomach cancer risk among H. pylori-infected people is lower in those who receive H. pylori eradication treatment, versus those who do not, a meta-analysis showed.[6]

H. pylori prevalence is falling in the UK, but it remains a problem in developing countries.[2,7,8]

Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 15% of stomach cancer cases in the UK are caused by smoking.[2]

Stomach cancer risk is 62% higher in male smokers compared with male never-smokers, meta-analyses have shown.[3-5] Stomach cancer risk is 20% higher in female smokers compared with female never-smokers, meta-analyses have shown.[3-5]

Risk is higher in smokers for both cardia and non-cardia stomach cancer,[4] and increases with number of cigarettes smoked per day.[5]

Stomach cancer risk is not higher in ex-smokers compared with never-smokers.[5

Smokeless tobacco is not associated with stomach cancer risk.[6,7]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classify the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1,2] 6% of stomach cancer cases in the UK are caused by overweight and obesity.[3]

Stomach (cardia) cancer risk is 21-22% higher in people who are overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25-29.9), and 61-82% higher in people who are obese (BMI 30+), compared with those of a normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9), meta-analyses have shown.[4,5] Non-cardia stomach cancer risk is not associated with overweight and obesity, meta-analyses have shown.[4,5]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

References

  1. Lauby-Secretan B, Scoccianti C, Loomis D, et al. Body Fatness and Cancer--Viewpoint of the IARC Working Group. N Engl J Med. 2016 Aug 25;375(8):794-8.
  2. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed October 2018.
  3. Brown KF, Rumgay H, Dunlop C, et al. The fraction of cancer attributable to known risk factors in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the UK overall in 2015. British Journal of Cancer 2018. 
  4. Chen Y, Liu L, Wang X, et al. Body mass index and risk of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of a population with more than ten million from 24 prospective studies. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2013;22(8):1395-408.
  5. Lin XJ, Wang CP, Liu XD, et al. Body mass index and risk of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis. Jpn J Clin Oncol 2014;44(9):783-91.
Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] Around 9% of stomach cancers are EBV-positive, meta-analyses have shown.[2]

It is unclear how EBV infection is associated with increased stomach cancer risk.[3,4]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] 2% of stomach cancer cases in the UK are caused by workplace exposures.[2]

Asbestos

Stomach cancer mortality risk is 19% higher in people exposed to asbestos at work, a meta-analysis showed.[3]

Chromium

Stomach cancer risk is 27% higher in people exposed to chromium at work, a meta-analysis showed.[4]

UK portrait version shown here. Country versions, cancers caused by other risk factors, and landscape formats are available for free from our cancer risk publications.

Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1] Less than 1% of stomach cancer cases in the UK are caused by ionising radiation.[2]

 

Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1]

Stomach cancer risk is not associated with processed meat intake, a meta-analysis of cohort studies showed; though there was some evidence of risk increase in case-control studies.[2,3]

Variability between studies may reflect differences by stomach cancer subsite or H. pylori status.[4]

Last reviewed:

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classify the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1,2]

Pickled food

Stomach cancer risk is 28-56% higher in people with the highest intake of pickled foods, compared with those with the lowest, meta-analyses have shown.[3,4]

Total salt intake

Stomach cancer risk is 68% higher in people with high salt intake compared with those with low salt intake, a meta-analysis showed.[5] Salt intake may increase the extent of H. pylori infection (the association between salt and stomach cancer risk may be limited to people with H. pylori infection[6]) and/or inflame/damage stomach tissue directly.[7] Variability between studies may reflect differences in salt intake assessment or confounding by other components of high-salt foods/diets.[8,9]

References

  1. International Agency for Research on Cancer. List of Classifications by cancer sites with sufficient or limited evidence in humans, Volumes 1 to 122. Accessed October 2018.
  2. World Cancer Research Fund / American Institute for Cancer Research. Continuous Update Project Findings & Reports. Accessed October 2018.
  3. Ren JS, Kamangar F, Forman D, et al. Pickled Food and Risk of Gastric Cancer--a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of English and Chinese Literature. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2012.
  4. D'Elia L, Rossi G, Ippolito R, et al. Habitual salt intake and risk of gastric cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. Clin Nutr. 2012 Aug;31(4):489-98.
  5. Wang XQ, Terry PD, Yan H. Review of salt consumption and stomach cancer risk: epidemiological and biological evidence. World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:2204-13.
Last reviewed:

World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) classifies the role of this risk factor in cancer development.[1]

Stomach cancer risk is 24% higher in people who consume 50g+ (6+ units) of alcohol per day, compared with non- or occasional drinkers, a meta-analysis showed;[2] however, confounding by smoking or poor diet is possible.[2] Stomach cancer risk is not associated with light or moderate alcohol consumption, meta-analyses have shown.[2-3]

Last reviewed:

Stomach cancer risk is 24% higher in diabetic males compared with non-diabetic males, and 90% higher in diabetic females compared with non-diabetic females, a meta-analysis showed; the association may be limited to populations in east Asia.[1]

Stomach cancer risk among diabetics may be lower in metformin users compared with non-users, a meta-analysis of cohort studies showed; however meta-analysis of randomised control trials (RCTs) showed no association.[2]

Last reviewed:

Cancer stats explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

Citation

You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK content for your own work.
Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:

Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year].
Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when reused unaltered): Credit: Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when recreated with differences): Based on a graphic created by Cancer Research UK.

When Cancer Research UK material is used for commercial reasons, we encourage a donation to our life-saving research.
Send a cheque payable to Cancer Research UK to: Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4AD or

Donate online

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 2.1 out of 5 based on 13 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think