Stomach Cancer And Diet: Expert Explains Food Habits That Can Increase Its Risk

Salt can damage the stomach lining, causing inflammation, eventually leading to cancer cell development.

Written by: Sushmita Sharma Updated at: 2023-03-08 10:00

Stomach cancer grows slowly and can often go undetected because it can take years to develop. Also known as gastric cancer, it starts in the stomach's cell linings and can spread throughout the body, destroying healthy tissue. Since the symptoms take time to show up, it's important to keep an eye out. Precautions become even more important. 

We spoke to our expert, Dr Amit Javed, Director - Department of Advanced Surgical Sciences & Oncology Surgeries, CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi, who explained the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment for stomach cancer.

Symptoms Of Stomach Cancer

Until cancer has progressed to an advanced stage, many people with stomach cancer do not experience any symptoms. Some of the symptoms that you may experience are as follows:

  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
Also Read: Stomach Cancer: Types, Tests For Diagnosis and New Treatments

Risk Factors Leading To Stomach Cancer

Dr Javed said, "Although the exact causes of stomach cancer are unknown, several factors can increase the chances of developing this cancer, including food habits."

Here are food habits that can increase the risk of stomach cancer:

1. Too much salt

Salt can damage the stomach lining, causing inflammation, eventually leading to cancer cell development. Foods high in salt include processed foods, pickles, and salty snacks. Limit your salt intake and choose fresh, unprocessed foods to reduce the risk.

2. Red and processed meat

Meat contains chemicals that can harm the stomach lining and causes inflammation. More lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and legumes are recommended in place of red and processed meat.

3. Diet low in fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and other nutrients that can help to protect the lining of the stomach from damage. To reduce your risk of stomach cancer, consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is recommended.

4. High consumption of alcohol

Drinking alcohol regularly and in high quantities can increase the risk of stomach cancer. You should consider your doctor’s advice on how much may be tolerable for you.

In addition to the above, contaminated food may result in H. pylori bacteria infection, which can lead to stomach cancer. 

Also Read: How Does Early Detection Play a Role In Stomach Cancer & Symptoms To Watch Out For

Treatment For Stomach Cancer

Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy, depending on the stage and location of the cancer. Early detection is important for the best possible outcome, so seeing a doctor is essential if you experience any symptoms or have risk factors.


You can reduce the risk of stomach cancer by making simple changes to your diet, like reducing salt intake, limiting consumption of red and processed meat, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding foods that are contaminated with carcinogens. If you are concerned about the risk and have symptoms, it is recommended to speak with your doctor.


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