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Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer

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Background Considerable progress has been made over the past two decades in understanding gastric carcinogenesis. Genetic and environmental factors have been shown to play a part. Infection with Helicobacter pylori leads to chronic gastritis and evidence is accumulating to link this disease with the subsequent development of gastric cancer.

Method A literature review was undertaken using Medline (National Library of Medicine, Washington DC, USA) searches of the headings gastrointestinal neoplasms and H. pylori for the years 1993-1997; further relevant references were examined.

Results H. pylori is implicated in gastric carcinogenesis. Proposed mechanisms centre on the inflammatory response of the gastric mucosa to the bacterium.

Conclusion Investigation is still required to elucidate the exact role of H. pylori in the development of gastric carcinoma. Eradication of the organism in high-risk groups might lead to a reduction in the incidence of gastric cancer.
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Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: PCEA Chogoria Hospital, Chogoria, Kenya 2: Department of Surgery, Raigmore Hospital, Inverness, UK

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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