If you’ve ever had severe pain in your stomach that feels like heartburn and that can’t be controlled, there is a possibility that you have a stomach ulcer. Almost 90 percent of ulcers are caused by an infection. They are usually not caused by stress or eating certain foods. However, high stress levels can enhance how an ulcer feels. Helicobacter Pylori is the bacteria that is usually responsible for stomach ulcers. More than 5 million people in the United States have an ulcer at some point. Symptoms that linger over time could result in surgery to solve the issue. Almost 6,000 people die every year from complications that are a result of a stomach ulcer. The same bacteria that causes an ulcer can also cause stomach cancer. Some of the signs seen with a stomach ulcer mask as stomach cancer. An abdominal CT and other testing can determine if there is an ulcer or if cancer is present. Aspirin and other painkillers, especially if they are taken in large quantities, can also cause stomach ulcers to develop. There is no age limit for ulcers, and women get ulcers just as often as men. Roughly one in 20 ulcers will usually advance to cancer in the stomach.
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