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Screening for and surveillance of gastric cancer

Screening for and surveillance of gastric cancer

World Journal of Gastroenterology 20(38): 13681-13691

Although the prevalence of gastric cancer (GC) progressively decreased during the last decades, due to improved dietary habit, introduction of food refrigeration and recovered socio-economic level, it still accounts for 10% of the total cancer-related deaths. The best strategy to reduce the mortality for GC is to schedule appropriate screening and surveillance programs, that rises many relevant concerns taking into account its worldwide variability, natural history, diagnostic tools, therapeutic strategies, and cost-effectiveness. Intestinal-type, the most frequent GC histotype, develops through a multistep process triggered by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and progressing from gastritis to atrophy, intestinal metaplasia (IM), and dysplasia. However, the majority of patients infected with H. pylori and carrying premalignant lesions do not develop GC. Therefore, it remains unclear who should be screened, when the screening should be started and how the screening should be performed. It seems reasonable that screening programs should target the general population in eastern countries, at high prevalence of GC and the high-risk subjects in western countries, at low prevalence of GC. As far as concern surveillance, currently, we are lacking of standardized international recommendations and many features have to be defined regarding the optimal diagnostic approach, the patients at higher risk, the best timing and the cost-effectiveness. Anyway, patients with corpus atrophic gastritis, extensive incomplete IM and dysplasia should enter a surveillance program. At present, screening and surveillance programs need further studies to draw worldwide reliable recommendations and evaluate the impact on mortality for GC.

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Accession: 055670980

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PMID: 25320506

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