Stomach Cancer Awareness Day Date in the current year: November 30, 2024

Stomach Cancer Awareness Day Stomach Cancer Awareness Day is held on November 30, the last day of Stomach Cancer Awareness Month. This awareness campaign was launched by My Gut Feeling, a Canadian support network providing advocacy, education, and information for stomach cancer patients and survivors, as well as their caregivers and family members.

Stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer, develops from the gastric mucosa (the lining of the stomach). Most cases of gastric cancer are carcinomas, i.e. malignant tumors that develop from epithelial cells. Other types of cancerous tumors that may develop in the stomach include mesenchymal tumors and lymphomas. Gastric cancer may metastasize into the liver, peritoneum, lymph nodes, lungs, and bones.

The most common risk factors for stomach cancer are Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking, alcohol consumption, an unhealthy diet, obesity, and some health conditions. Genetic factors may also play a role; about 10% of cases of gastric cancer run in families, and 1-3% of gastric cancers are hereditary diffuse gastric cancer.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund International, stomach cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world after breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and prostate cancer. It accounts for about 7% of all cases and 9% of deaths. The worst thing about stomach cancer is that its early symptoms are non-specific (heartburn, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain), so the disease is usually diagnosed at later stages, when it is very hard to cure.

November was officially designated as Stomach Cancer Awareness Month at the initiative of No Stomach For Cancer, a US-based non-profit advocacy organization that aims to advance awareness and education about gastric cancer. The United States Senate passed a corresponding resolution in October 2010.

In 2016, My Gut Feeling held the first Stomach Cancer Awareness Day in Canada. The celebration was centered around the social media campaign #MGF365 aimed at raising awareness of gastric cancer around the globe. The next year, landmarks in six Canadian cities (Halifax, Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria) were lit up in periwinkle blue, the awareness color for gastric cancer, to raise stomach cancer awareness on November 30.

Since then, dozens of cities in Canada and the United States, as well as outside of North America (in Australia, Austria, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom) have joined the Stomach Cancer Awareness Day and light up their landmarks every November 30. In 2023, for example, more than 150 sites across the world were illuminated, including the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa.

You can get involved with Stomach Cancer Awareness Day by reaching out to your city administration and asking them to participate in the campaign, wearing a periwinkle ribbon to raise awareness and start conversations, donating to an organization that supports stomach cancer patients or funds research, and spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #StomachCancerAwarenessDay. If you’re a gastric cancer survivor, consider sharing your story to give others hope – of course, only if you’re comfortable with it!

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Stomach Cancer Awareness Day, Stomach Cancer Awareness Month, My Gut Feeling, stomach cancer, gastric cancer