Essential Foods and Drinks to Exclude and Include in Your Diet
In this article, we'll explore everything about stomach cancer including treatment options like QINLOCK® (ripretinib), which is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used to treat advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) in patients who have already received prior treatment. Qinlock (ripretinib) has shown promise in clinical trials for the treatment of desmoid tumors.
Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Cancer
Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, may not show early symptoms in its initial stages, and symptoms can be nonspecific, resembling other digestive conditions. However, as the cancer progresses, some common signs and symptoms may include:
- Indigestion or heartburn: Persistent indigestion or frequent heartburn that doesn't improve with usual treatments could be a symptom of stomach cancer.
- Abdominal pain or discomfort: Pain or discomfort in the abdomen, especially in the upper abdomen, may occur, and it can be dull, persistent, or cramp-like.
- Loss of appetite: A sudden or unexplained loss of appetite and weight loss can be an indication of stomach cancer.
- Feeling full after small meals: Early satiety, where you feel full quickly even after consuming small amounts of food, might be a sign of stomach cancer.
- Nausea and vomiting: Chronic nausea and vomiting that don't have an obvious cause should be evaluated.
- Bloating: Frequent bloating or a sensation of fullness in the abdomen, even after eating small portions.
- Difficulty swallowing: Difficulty or pain when swallowing, known as dysphagia, can occur as the tumor grows and obstructs the passage.
- Fatigue and weakness: Feeling tired and weak without any obvious cause or improvement with rest.
- Blood in the stool: Stomach cancer can lead to bleeding in the digestive tract, resulting in the presence of blood in the stool, which may appear dark or tarry.
Foods and Drinks to Avoid
Processed meats such as sausages, hot dogs, bacon and deli meats are high in sodium, nitrates and other preservatives. These substances have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Opt for lean cuts of fresh meats and poultry instead.
Excessive salt consumption is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer. Avoid or limit your intake of processed foods, canned soups, salty snacks and fast food, as they are often loaded with sodium. Instead, flavor your meals with herbs, spices and lemon juice.
Smoked, Pickled and Fermented Foods
Foods that undergo processes like smoking, pickling and fermentation can contain high levels of nitrates, nitrites and salt, which may promote the development of stomach cancer. Limit your intake of smoked fish, pickles, sauerkraut and fermented condiments like soy sauce.
High-sugar beverages, including soda, fruit juices with added sugars and sweetened teas, can increase the risk of various cancers, including stomach cancer. Opt for water, herbal teas or unsweetened alternatives to quench your thirst.
Refined grains like white bread, white rice and pasta have undergone processing that removes valuable nutrients and fiber. These foods can contribute to a higher risk of stomach cancer. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat bread and quinoa instead.
Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of several cancers, including stomach cancer. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation. The recommended limit is one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
Fried and Fatty Foods
Fried and fatty foods can be difficult to digest and may contribute to the development of cancer. Limit your intake of deep-fried foods, fast food and foods high in saturated and trans fats. Instead, focus on incorporating healthier fats like those found in avocados, nuts and olive oil.
Foods and Drinks to Eat
Fruits and Vegetables
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support a healthy immune system. Include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, such as berries, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables, citrus fruits and tomatoes, in your daily diet.
Fiber aids in digestion, promotes regular bowel movements and can help prevent certain types of cancer. Include fiber-rich foods like whole grains, legumes, lentils, beans and vegetables in your daily meals.
Choose lean sources of protein like skinless poultry, fish, tofu and beans. These protein sources are low in saturated fats and provide important nutrients that support overall health.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and compounds that have been associated with a reduced risk of cancer. Enjoy a cup of green tea daily as a refreshing beverage.
Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions contain organosulfur compounds that have been studied for their potential anticancer properties. Incorporate these aromatic ingredients into your cooking to enhance both flavor and health benefits.
Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts are rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain compounds known as glucosinolates that have been linked to a reduced risk of stomach cancer.
Include sources of healthy fats in your diet, such as avocados, nuts, seeds and olive oil. These fats provide essential fatty acids and support overall health and well-being.
Gastrointestinal or stomach cancer is a serious condition that requires comprehensive treatment, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Alongside these medical interventions, adopting a healthy diet can play a crucial role in supporting your body's fight against cancer and improving overall well-being.
While diet alone cannot prevent or cure gastrointestinal/stomach cancer, it significantly supports your overall health and well-being during treatment and recovery. Avoiding specific foods can reduce your risk and support your body's fight against cancer. Focus on incorporating fruits and vegetables, high-fiber foods, lean proteins, green tea, garlic and onions, cruciferous vegetables and healthy fats into your diet.
Consult with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to tailor a diet plan that suits your specific needs and complements your treatment regimen. Remember, a balanced and nutritious diet can contribute to your overall health and enhance your body's resilience in the face of gastrointestinal/stomach cancer.
Do you know about the risk factors for breast cancer? Learn more here about that here.