5 foods to help overcome stomach cancer

Gastric cancer, the number one incidence rate in Korea [1]

Gastric cancer accounts for 1.4% of all new cancers and is ranked 15th in the United States. However, in countries that eat a lot of spicy and salty foods like Korea, stomach cancer is ranked in the top 5.

It can occur in any part of the stomach, spreads to the esophagus or small intestine, penetrates through the stomach wall, invades adjacent pancreas and large intestine, and spreads to surrounding lymph nodes, liver, lungs, and ovaries.

Gastric cancer occurs more often in people over 40, but it can occur at any age and is known to be twice as common in men as in women. Gastric cancer develops in the mucous membrane of the stomach.

Over time, it infiltrates into the submucosal, muscle, and serous layers. Gastric cancer may spread widely in the stomach along the mucous membrane or submucosal layer, or it may spread deeply from the mucous membrane to the serous layer. It can spread to various parts of the liver, lungs, bones, etc., along the lymph nodes around the stomach or by the spread of blood flow.

Symptoms of stomach cancer

Symptoms of stomach cancer include epigastric discomfort, epigastric pain, indigestion, bloating, and loss of appetite. However, these symptoms are similar to those of gastritis or gastric ulcer. Because of this, long-term use of digestive drugs or antacids is often used to treat symptoms, so the timing of surgery may be missed.

If stomach cancer is not treated early, it can develop gradually and you may feel a hard lump in your abdomen. In addition, symptoms such as vomiting, hematopoiesis, bleeding, weight loss, anemia, and abdominal distension due to ascites may occur. In this case, the cancer is often advanced to the extent that the treatment result is not good.

Causes of stomach cancer

The direct cause of stomach cancer has not yet been determined, but the food you eat is known to be the most important. Foods that increase the incidence of gastric cancer include salted or smoked foods, nitric acid and nitrite processed foods, vegetables or drinking water with a high content thereof, and spicy and salty foods.

The Helicobacter bacteria, which reside in the gastric mucosa, are also known to play an important role in the development of gastric cancer. In addition, family history, smoking, exposure to radiation, gastrectomy, and past history may increase the risk of stomach cancer.

Foods for stomach cancer [2],[3]

Many people think that stomach upsets are not a big deal, and symptoms go away quickly with treatment. However, ulcers may develop in the weakened stomach, which leads to cancer. The diet we eat plays an important role in our stomach and overall physical health. Organizing your diet with foods to help you overcome stomach cancer, as listed below, can help relieve symptoms and produce better results.


Apples contain anti-cancer properties that can help prevent inflammation, digestive system problems, and infections. The old saying, “If you have one apple a day, you don’t have to see a doctor” is true. Apples contain polyphenols, which are well known anticancer agents. Many studies have shown that polyphenols have anti-cancer and tumor-fighting properties that help protect the stomach from cancer.


Berries are rich in vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. Scientists have referred to berries as foods that contain antioxidants and are potentially healthy. One study found that anthocyanin, a compound in berry, lowered the biomarker of gastric cancer. Another study also found that blueberries fed to mice showed anti-inflammatory properties that could prevent the growth of tumors in the stomach of the mice.


A new Australian study found that sulfated seaweed not only has a beneficial effect on health problems associated with Helicobacter pylori (the causative agent of gastritis, gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gastric adenocarcinoma, gastric lymphoma, etc. when infected) but also has anti-adhesive properties (to prevent cancer cells from sticking) in stomach cancer.

Researchers at Western Australia University found that in animals infected with human gastric cancer cells, given fucoidan, it expelled the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.

The researchers said, “These results indicate that fucoidan prevented the attachment of Helicobacter pylori bacteria to digestive epithelial cells in animal experiments. In addition, the high-dose polyphenols that can be extracted from Fucus vesiculosus play a significant role in helping this function.”

Helicobacter pylori is a fungus (bacteria) that more than half of the world’s people have in the stomach. This, when chronically active in the intestine, aids in the progression of astrointestinal tumors and gastric cancer. When a tumor in the stomach develops, antibiotics are usually used, but if the tumor needs to be treated for a long time, the bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

Fucoidan’s research efficacy driving out Helicobacter pylori bacteria are being evaluated as an alternative method that can replace the insufficient antibiotic treatment.  Typical foods that contain Fucoidan include Wakame, Bladderwrack, and Mozuku, which are grown in clean ocean.

Cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. are rich in nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Cruciferous vegetables also contain sulforaphane, a plant compound with anticancer properties.

In many studies, sulforaphane has been shown to be excellent in preventing gastric cancer cell growth and killing cancer cells.  Another study is that sulforaphane combined with Genistein, a soybean compound (Genistein known for anticancer effects is a plant estrogen found in plants, consumed as soybeans and soybean products.), significantly decreased the incidence and size of cancerous tumors. Revealed that it can be suppressed. Sulforaphane also inhibits histone deacetylase, an enzyme associated with gastric cancer.

Whole grain

To overcome stomach cancer, whole grains are better than refined rice or white grains. Whole grains are rich in fiber that is good for your gut. Whole grains provide five times more fiber than refined carbohydrates such as white bread and pasta, plus omega-3 fatty acids and nutrients that are good for digestion and absorption.

When bacteria in the stomach encounter fiber, they make Short chain fatty acids: it is important to produce adequate amounts of short chain fatty acids by fermentation of intestinal microbes to maintain health.  If not, it may cause produce a number of intestinal disorders, immune disorders and cancer. These molecules help the cells in the large intestine, where 70 percent of our immune cells live, to function properly.

Foods that gastric cancer patients should avoid [5]

As much as knowing foods that are good for stomach cancer, you should avoid foods that have a bad effect on stomach cancer. There are many substances that cause gastric cancer, but among them, we will look at foods that gastric cancer patients should avoid from what we typically eat and look for.

Foods that can irritate the stomach and worsen stomach cancer include alcohol, coffee, acidic vegetables, fruit juices with high acidity, fatty foods, fried foods, soda, and spicy, salty and hot foods. If you notice that a particular food or group of foods makes your symptoms worse, avoiding these foods can also prevent symptoms.


[1] Stomach cancer, Mayo Clinic|
[2] Gastritis Diet: What to Eat and What to Avoid, Health line
[3] Stomach Cancer, America cancer society
[4] Brown seaweed extract battles cancer, Nutrain gredients
[5] Foods to avoid on a gastritis diet

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