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This Blood Type Puts You at Risk for "Deadly" Cancer

Knowing if you are predisposed may increase early detection of cancer.

Determining who is at a genetically higher risk cancer is a tricky business; only a few cancers have a strong genetic link. Knowing more about who is predisposed may increase early detection of cancer. Recently, researchers have found that one blood type is associated with a higher risk of two particularly deadly types of cancer. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.


The Blood Types That May Raise Cancer Risk

A male scientist/doctor holding a test tube marked Blood Test with group AB circled.

In a study published earlier this year in BMC Cancer, researchers looked at genotyping data from thousands of residents of China. They found that people with blood type AB are 34% more likely to develop esophageal cancer, compared to people with type O blood.

Additionally, researchers found that people with AB blood had a 44% higher risk of stomach cancer, and people with type A blood had a 37% higher risk. 


Why Is That?

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The researchers aren't sure and have called for more studies. Few studies have examined the connection between esophageal cancer and blood type. But some studies dating back decades have suggested there's a link between gastric (stomach) cancer and blood type.

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Why These Cancers Are So Deadly

woman in bed suffering from cancer

Esophageal cancer and stomach cancer are two of the deadliest cancers. Only about 20% of people with esophageal cancer survive five years after their diagnosis. For stomach cancer, that number is about 32%

Esophageal cancer is the third-largest cause of cancer death in the U.S. Stomach cancer only accounts for about 1.5% of cancer cases in the U.S, but it's the fifth most common cancer worldwide.

Esophageal cancer and stomach cancer are so deadly because they tend not to cause symptoms in the early stages. By the time they're detected, the cancer has often spread to other parts of the body, making them more difficult to cure.

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What Is Esophageal Cancer?

Woman with sore throat at home

Esophageal cancer is cancer that develops in the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. According to the National Cancer Institute, risk factors include smoking, alcohol use, and acid reflux. 

Its symptoms include difficulty swallowing, unintended weight loss, chest pain, worsening indigestion or heartburn, and coughing or hoarseness.

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What Is Stomach Cancer?

Middle aged woman suffering from abdominal pain while sitting on bed at home

Stomach cancer occurs when cancerous cells develop in the lining of the stomach. According to the National Cancer Institute, the main risk factors for stomach cancer include smoking, infection with H. pylori bacteria, and certain inherited conditions. 

Its symptoms include difficulty swallowing, feeling bloated after eating, feeling full after eating small amounts of food, stomach pain, heartburn, nausea, and vomiting. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael