Because cancer is such a scary prognosis, it's important to catch the disease early to better your chances of survival through mitigation measures and treatments. But cancer can be challenging to detect, in large part because doctors may not know exactly where to look. That's why it's worth knowing about any factors that put you at heightened risk for particular kinds of cancer. And according to some research, your blood type could be one of those factors: Based on multiple studies, having type A blood actually puts you at higher risk for one specific kind of cancer. Read on to find out which cancer to be on the lookout for, and for more on your blood type, If You Have This Blood Type, Your Heart Attack Risk Is Higher, Study Says.
If you have type A blood, you're at a higher risk for stomach cancer.
The American Cancer Society says that people with type A blood have a "higher risk of getting stomach cancer." Many studies have confirmed this, one of the most recent being a 2017 study published in PLOS One. According to this study, individuals with blood type A have a 26 percent increased risk of stomach cancer when compared to those that have blood type B and O. And for ways to reduce your risk of cancer, Drinking This Every Day Could Slash Your Cancer Risk, Study Finds.
You may also have a higher risk of gastrointestinal cancer altogether.
The 2017 study found that when compared with blood type A, non-A blood types had a 20 percent lower risk of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract, specifically both stomach cancer and colorectal cancer. According to the researchers, similar to stomach cancer, those with blood type A experienced a "significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer" compared to those with a non-A blood type. And for more health concerns, If You Feel This at Night, You Need to Get Your Liver Checked, Doctors Say.
This may be because a certain bacteria is more common in people with type A blood.
The American Cancer Society says that while type A blood is associated with an increased risk of stomach cancer, the reasons are "unknown." However, experts at WebMD say that many researchers have theorized that this could be because H. pylori infection is more common in people with type A blood. This type of infection is caused when the bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) enters your body and stays in your digestive tract. "After many years, they can cause sores, called ulcers, in the lining of your stomach or the upper part of your small intestine. For some people, an infection can lead to stomach cancer," WebMD explains. And for more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.
If you are diagnosed with stomach cancer, survival rates are low.
According to the American Cancer Society, the current 2021 estimates for stomach cancer are more than 26,500 new cases of stomach cancer and nearly 11,200 deaths. And per a 2017 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), survival rates for this cancer are low. The one-year survival rate is estimated at 53.1 percent, while the three-year and five-year survival rates were estimated to be only 33.8 percent and 29 percent, respectively. This is much lower than other types of cancer, like kidney cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of 75 percent; thyroid cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of 98 percent; and even brain cancer, which has a five-year survival rate of 35 percent, per data from the American Cancer Society. And for more your blood type can tell you, If You Have This Blood Type, You're High Risk for Diabetes, Study Says.