Can a Flu Turn Into Stomach Cancer?
When talking about the flu and cancer in the same breath, it can be a little confusing to understand the connection between the two, as both illnesses are completely different (flu is a short-term virus, and cancer is a long-term disease).
1. Regular flu (influenza) – there is no evidence that a regular bout of the flu can cause any type of cancer; however, a cancer sufferer may be at an increased risk of getting the flu over a non-sufferer. This is due to the body’s defenses being lower than normal (affected by the cancer itself, or treatments).
2. Stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) – is a virus which manifests within the gastrointestinal tract (symptoms may show between 2-hours – 3-days after the virus has entered the body), and is caused by the consumption of contaminated food and water; resulting in symptoms that can lead to complications if left untreated.
The following symptoms may apply:
(a) Abdominal pain – caused by cramping and hyperactive bowels (the immune-system [working to a maximum] will try to eliminate the virus causing the pain).
(b) Diarrhea – is typical with any type of bad food consumption (the intestines lose the ability to absorb food as it is passed through them too quickly).
(c) Nausea/Vomiting – is when the stomach is unable to keep food and digestive acids within, forcing both to travel back-up the esophagus and out through the mouth (nausea is only the feeling of vomiting, and not the action).
If left untreated, stomach flu can lead to dehydration that is caused by the excessive vomiting and diarrhea. This in turn causes body fluids to become depleted (depleted body fluids cause a loss of salt and minerals), and upsets the balance of the body’s electrolytes (liquids that conduct electricity) causing any one of the following 3-stages:
1. Mild dehydration – causes the heart-rate to increase with a decreased output (alertness, mucus, membranes, respiratory-rate, and blood pressure remain normal).
2. Moderate dehydration – causes both the heart and respiratory-rate to increase (a change in the pulse-rate and drying of the mucus membranes is also noticed).
3. Severe dehydration – causes the mucus membranes to severely dry, together with a cracking of the lips (heart and respiratory-rates increase considerably, eyes become sunken, and when testing for skin turgor (pinching of the skin) “tenting” is observed (the skin does not return to its original form when pinched).
Although recent research has allowed for a better understanding into what may actually cause stomach cancer; for the moment no evidence has been released that would indicate stomach flu, or any other type of flu, as being a cause of stomach cancer (even in cases where stomach flu has gone untreated for any length of time in a person).
Stomach cancer is still believed to be caused by more long-term conditions, such as: diet (high salt diets, and a low intake of fruits and vegetables), gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, helicobacter pylori infections, smoking, and any family history of the disease. Stomach flu usually tends to be a more short-term virus.
However, helicobacter pylori infections are believed to be caused through the intake of food and water, and are also suspected of causing stomach cancer. Helicobacter pylori infections cause prolonged inflammation of the inner part of the stomach; although, there has been no connection made with stomach flu, as yet.