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This Blood Type Can Mean You're at Risk of Cancer

"People with blood group A are at significantly higher risk."
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

It is not known what causes stomach cancer but your blood type may offer a clue; people with a certain type may be more likely to get it. So what is stomach cancer? "Stomach cancer is an abnormal growth of cells that begins in the stomach," reports the Mayo Clinic. "Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, can affect any part of the stomach. In most of the world, stomach cancers form in the main part of the stomach (stomach body). But in the United States, stomach cancer is more likely to affect the area where the long tube (esophagus) that carries food you swallow meets the stomach. This area is called the gastroesophageal junction." Read on to see which blood type is most commonly associated with stomach cancer, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "Long" COVID and May Not Even Know It.

1

Which Blood Type Puts You Most at Risk?

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"People with blood group A are at significantly higher risk for getting stomach cancer compared with other groups," says Anton J. Bilchik, M.D. of Santa Monica, CA.

2

How Does This Blood Type Put You At Risk?

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"The exact reason is unclear, but there are several conditions that have a higher risk of getting stomach cancer and studies have shown that blood group A is more common in certain conditions," says Dr. Bilchik. 

3

What Exactly is the Risk?

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"It has been known for decades that patients with blood type A are at increased risk for the development of gastric cancer," says Collin C. Vu | MemorialCare. "This has been confirmed in more recent population studies and has been noted to increase gastric cancer risk by approximately 20% in patients with blood group A compared to the other blood groups."

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4

What is Atrophic Gastritis?

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"Another precursor to stomach cancer is atrophic gastritis – this too is more common in people with blood group A," says Dr. Bilchik. According to Medscape, "atrophic gastritis is a histopathologic entity characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa with loss of the gastric glandular cells and replacement by intestinal-type epithelium, pyloric-type glands, and fibrous tissue."

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5

What is Pernicious Anemia?

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"A significant risk factor for gastric cancer is infection with the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which has been noted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (World Health Organization) to be a definite carcinogen in humans," says Dr. Vu. "Patients with blood group A are more likely to have infection by Helicobacter pylori and there is some indication that the receptors for which these bacteria attach to and use to invade in the gastrointestinal tract may be different depending on ABO blood type."

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6

What to Do if You Feel at Risk

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Contact your doctor if you are having difficulty swallowing, feel bloated after eating or have heartburn or indigestion. "Where the cancer occurs in the stomach is one factor doctors consider when determining your treatment options. Treatment usually includes surgery to remove the stomach cancer. Other treatments may be recommended before and after surgery," says the Mayo Clinic. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more