One of the most serious complications of gastritis is stomach cancer, which usually appears in some specific cases. We explain why it appears and what relationship they have.

There are many diseases that can directly or indirectly affect our stomach, that main organ of digestion that stands out for being the widest part of the digestive system, consisting of the widening of the digestive tube, finding it located between the esophagus and the intestine. And gastritis becomes one of the most common conditions.

Gastritis is inflammation of the gastric mucosa (or lining of the stomach). This mucosa is formed by a layer of cells that lines our stomach from the inside and that acts in a very important way in protecting the acidity of the different gastric juices.

Its causes, as we have already indicated in previous moments, tend to be very varied: infections, for example, with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (which in turn causes certain types of gastritis), the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, have a decisive influence, follow a more or less prolonged treatment based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or habitually consume spicy or very spicy foods.

There is also a type of gastritis caused by an autoimmune disease, specifically pernicious anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Or a type of emotional gastritis caused by nervous tension, stress and anxiety, also known by the name of nervous gastritis.

What is the evolution of gastritis?

We must differentiate between the existence of acute gastritis and chronic gastritis. For example, acute gastritis is a type of inflammation of the gastric mucosa with sudden onset and short duration, while chronic gastritis is precisely quite long in time; that is, it has a long evolution.

In any case, gastritis can give rise to different complications during the time that the inflammation remains affecting the gastric mucosa. The most common is the appearance of a stomach ulcer (medically known as gastric ulcer) or a duodenal ulcer (known as duodenal ulcer), leading to bleeding or dangerous gastric perforations.

Can gastritis develop into stomach cancer?

Another of the possible complications with respect to the evolution of gastritis, and which ultimately tends to worry people affected by this inflammation of the gastric lining, is the  increased risk of developing stomach cancer, given that gastritis that causes damage to the gastric mucosa (especially when this damage is extended over time and occurs for a long time) increases the chances of developing cancer.

This two to three times higher risk is especially common in people with type B gastritis as a result of Helicobacter pylori infection, compared to uninfected people. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of stomach cancer

Moreover, as many medical specialists believe, 80% of people who do not treat their gastritis and neglect it are at increased risk of developing gastric cancer. The reason? The constant inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which in turn causes chronic gastritis or hypertrophy of the gastric mucosa, and hence leads to gastric cancer.

Unfortunately, when gastritis is neglected, it is very common for patients to end up being diagnosed with gastric cancer in advanced stages, not being able to opt for medical treatments that can help relieve symptoms, such as surgery.

What symptoms can be a sign of gastric cancer?

In the presence of gastritis and any of the symptoms that we indicate below, it is necessary to go to the doctor quickly, especially to find the cause and thus establish early medical treatment. We must also bear in mind that these symptoms can be equally common in other digestive disorders and conditions, so it should always be a medical specialist who determines the diagnosis and treatment.

It is advisable to see a doctor if you suffer from gastric acidity, heartburn or reflux for a month or more. On the other hand, the following are alarm symptoms: vomiting blood, black stools, pain in the pit of the stomach and rapid and involuntary weight loss.


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