Coping and support
A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and frightening. Once you start to adjust after the initial shock of your diagnosis, you may find it helps to stay focused on tasks that help you cope. For example, try to:
- Learn enough to make decisions about your care. Ask your doctor to write down the details of your cancer — the type, stage and your treatment options. Use those details to find more information about stomach cancer and the benefits and risks of each treatment option.
- Connect with other cancer survivors. Ask your doctor about support groups in your area. Or go online and connect with cancer survivors on message boards, such as those run by the American Cancer Society.
- Stay active. Being diagnosed with cancer doesn't mean you have to stop doing the things you enjoy or normally do. For the most part, if you feel well enough to do something, go ahead and do it.
It's not clear what causes gastroesophageal junction or stomach cancer, so there's no way to prevent it. But you can take steps to reduce your risk of gastroesophageal junction cancer and stomach cancer by making small changes to your everyday life. For instance, try to:
- Exercise. Regular exercise is associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer. Try to fit physical activity into your day most days of the week.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. Try to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet each day. Choose a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce the amount of salty and smoked foods you eat. Protect your stomach by limiting these foods.
- Stop smoking. If you smoke, quit. If you don't smoke, don't start. Smoking increases your risk of stomach cancer, as well as many other types of cancer. Quitting smoking can be very difficult, so ask your doctor for help.
- Ask your doctor about your risk of gastroesophageal junction or stomach cancer. Talk with your doctor if you have an increased risk of gastroesophageal junction cancer or stomach cancer. Together you may consider periodic endoscopy to look for signs of stomach cancer.
May 18, 2016
- AskMayoExpert. Esophageal and gastric cancer. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2015.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Cancer of the stomach and gastroesophageal junction. In: Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Feldman M, et al. Adenocarcinoma of the stomach and other gastric tumors. In: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Management. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Gastric cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Gastrointestinal stromal tumors treatment – Patient version (PDQ). National Cancer Institute. http://www.cancer.gov/types/soft-tissue-sarcoma/patient/gist-treatment-pdq. Accessed March 24, 2016.
- Palliative care. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed March 23, 2016.
- Singh S, et al. Physical activity is associated with reduced risk of gastric cancer: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Prevention Research. 2014;7:12.