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Stomach Cancer

Stomach Cancer

9 November 2018

Introduction

Stomach cancer was the sixth commonest cancer in Hong Kong in 2015. It accounted for 3.8% of all new cancer cases.

Incidence

There were 1167 new cases of stomach cancer in 2015, with 686 cases of males and 481 cases of females. The male to female ratio was about 1.4 to 1. The crude incidence rates were 20.4 for male and 12.3 for female per 100000 population of respective sex. The age-standardised incidence rates were 11.0 for male and 7.0 for female per 100000 standard population. 

Trend of incidence

The age-standardised incidence rate for both sexes had a downward trend between 1983 and 2015.

Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of stomach cancer by sex, 1983-2000 (View)

Number of new cases and crude incidence rate of stomach cancer by sex, 2001-2015 (View)

Age-standardised incidence rate* of stomach cancer by sex, 1983-2015

Age-standardised incidence rate of stomach cancer by sex, 1983-2015

Notes:

*

Age-standardised incidence rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.
   

Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach. Also, the 2016 Population By-census conducted from June to August 2016 provides a benchmark for revising the population figures compiled since the 2011 Population Census. Population-related figures from 2012 to 2015 have been revised accordingly.

    Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:

 

Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health
Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority

Mortality

Stomach cancer was the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in Hong Kong. In 2016, it claimed 710 deaths, accounting for 5.0% of all cancer deaths. The crude death rates were 12.7 for male and 7.1 for female per 100000 population of respective sex. The age-standardised death rates of stomach cancer were 6.4 for male and 3.6 for female per 100000 standard population. 

Trend of mortality

The age-standardised death rate for both sexes had a downward trend between 1981 and 2016.

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of stomach cancer by sex, 1981-2000 (View)

Number of registered deaths and crude death rate of stomach cancer by sex, 2001-2016 (View)

Age-standardised death rate* of stomach cancer by sex, 1981-2016

Age-standardised death rate of stomach cancer by sex, 1981-2016

Notes:

*

Age-standardised death rates are compiled based on the world standard population specified in GPE Discussion Paper Series: No.31, EIP/GPE/EBD, World Health Organization, 2001.

   

Data in the above charts from 1996 onwards are compiled based on the population estimates under the "resident population" approach instead of the "extended de facto" approach. Also, the 2016 Population By-census conducted from June to August 2016 provides a benchmark for revising the population figures compiled since the 2011 Population Census. Population-related figures from 2012 to 2015 have been revised accordingly.

    Classification of diseases and causes of death is based on the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) 10th Revision from 2001 onwards. Figures from 2001 onwards may not be comparable with figures for previous years which were compiled based on the ICD 9th Revision.

Sources:

  Census and Statistics Department
Department of Health

Stomach cancer corresponds to codes 151 in ICD-9 and C16 in ICD-10.

Who is at risk of stomach cancer?

The causes of stomach cancer are still not fully understood, but there are some risk factors for stomach cancer, including:

  • Age: risk increases with age
  • Gender: Stomach cancer is more common in men
  • Infection with Helicobacter pylori
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Consuming foods preserved by salting
  • Consuming processed meat (increase of the risk of non-cardia [i.e. fundus, body and pylorus] gastric cancer)
  • Being overweight or obese (increase of the risk of gastric cardia cancer)

 

Basic anatomical structure of stomach includes cardia, fundus, body and pylorus

Figure: Basic anatomical structure of stomach includes cardia, fundus, body and pylorus

How can I prevent or lower the risk of stomach cancer?

You can prevent or lower the risk of stomach cancer by adopting the following healthy lifestyle habits:

  • A balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Eat less salt and salty food
  • Reduce consumption of foods preserved by salting
  • Reduce consumption of processed meat
  • Avoid tobacco smoking. Current smokers can call the Integrated Smoking Cessation Hotline of the Department of Health at 1833 183 for free quit smoking advice and help.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol
  • Maintain a healthy body weight and waist circumference - aim for a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 22.9, and a waist circumference of less than 90 cm (about 36 inches) for men and less than 80 cm (about 32 inches) for women
  • Have regular physical activities, do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activities per week (e.g. climbing stairs or brisk walking)

What are the common symptoms of stomach cancer?

Early stomach cancer may have no symptom, so they often go unnoticed. Common symptoms of stomach cancer include:

  • Indigestion
  • Upper abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting with blood-stained vomitus
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

If you notice any symptoms, you should consult a doctor immediately.

Related information

For further information on reduction of dietary sodium (salt), please browse the website of Centre for Food Safety.

The Department of Health provides Smoking Cessation Services for smokers including Smoking Cessation Hotline and Smoking Cessation Programme.
To know more on harmful effects of smoking and tobacco control in Hong Kong, please visit the website of Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office.

To know more about health effects of alcohol, please click here.

You can also call our 24-hour Health Education Hotline of the Department of Health 2833 0111 for more health information. Please click here to view the full list of health topics.