Gastric cancer (cancer of the stomach)

Gastric cancer is the fourth most common cancer globally (8.6% of all the new cancer cases) following lung, breast and colorectal cancers, but it is the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. 

Annually 989 thousand patients get diagnosed with gastric cancer, and close to 737 thousand people die because of the disease. Most of the cases are occurring in developing countries. There are several factors – lifestyle and environment, the presence of Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) infection as well as genetic factors responsible for the disease.

H.pylori is defined a definite carcinogen by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer).

Latvia is a high risk zone, annually 600 patients get diagnosed with gastric cancer, and 500 patients die because of the disease.

Screening for gastric cancer is taking place in Japan and South Korea (both belonging to very high-risk areas); the recommended methods for screening are photofluorography (X-ray examination of the stomach) and upper endoscopy (the latter only in Korea). Recent developments suggest the possibilities of non-invasive screening tools (e.g. pepsinogen detection in blood), yet none of the countries has included this screening method in its screening programs.


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