Anyone can get stomach cancer.
It's not always clear what causes it, but you might be more likely to get stomach cancer if you:
- are over the age of 50
- are a man
- have a long-term infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) – read more about the link between H. pylori and stomach cancer on the Cancer Research UK website
- have certain stomach conditions, such as long-term, severe acid reflux, gastritis or a condition called pernicious anaemia, which effects your immune system
- have a brother, sister or parent who had stomach cancer
Stomach cancer can also be linked to your lifestyle. You may be more likely to get it if you:
- smoke – find out more about quitting smoking
- are very overweight – find out more about how to start losing weight
- work in a job where you're exposed to certain chemicals, such as in the rubber industry or coal mining
- have too much salt in your diet – find out more about how to cut down on salt
- drink too much alcohol – find tips for cutting down on alcohol
- do not eat enough fruit and vegetables – find out how to get your 5 A Day
- eat a lot of processed meat (such as ham, bacon and salami) – find out more about meat in your diet
You cannot always prevent stomach cancer. But because many stomach cancers are linked to lifestyle, making healthy changes can lower your chances of getting it.
It is important to get any symptoms of stomach cancer checked by a GP.
Even if you do not think you fit into any of the groups with a higher chance of getting it. Anyone can get stomach cancer.
Page last reviewed: 21 October 2019
Next review due: 21 October 2022