"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Treating a typical gastrointestinal virus reduces the danger of stomach cancer

May 8, 2023 – Treatment Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori)Infection – a typical form of bacteria that infects the stomach – reduces the danger of Stomach cancer, in line with recent research.

A big study from California found that folks with H. pylori The treated people had a 63% lower risk of developing stomach cancer than individuals with H. pylori that weren't treated.

“After 7 to 10 years of observation, people with H. pylori “Among patients who received treatment, the risk of developing stomach cancer was almost half that of the general population,” said study researcher Dan Li, MD, a gastroenterologist with Kaiser Permanente Medical Group and Kaiser Permanente Division of Research.

“The evidence that treatment reduces risk even after infection occurred many years ago is a powerful tool – as is the knowledge that quitting smoking reduces the risk of lung cancer even after many years of smoking,” said Douglas Corley, MD, PhD of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research, who participated in the study. said in a statement.

Patients who were treated against the bacteria still had a higher risk of developing stomach cancer than those who had never received treatment. H. pyloriThis is probably because many people with chronic H. pylori The infection had already developed some precancerous changes in the stomach before they were treated, Li said, noting that this finding “leads to H. pylori Ideally, treatment should occur before precancerous changes develop.”

The recent findings are based on greater than 716,000 members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California who H. pylori Tests and/or treatments between 1997 and 2015.

About 30% of individuals within the US are infected with H. pylori, This is the largest risk factor for stomach cancer.

If untreated, H. pylori could cause chronic inflammation of the stomach lining, which might result in precancerous conditions and even cancer. To do away with the bacteria, patients take medications corresponding to antibiotics and proton pump inhibitors for 10 to 14 days.

Asian, black and Hispanic adults within the US are rather more prone to be infected with H. pylori than other groups, and additionally they have a two to 3 times higher risk of developing stomach cancer.

“This suggests that it might be worthwhile to consider targeted screening and treatment for these high-risk groups,” Li said. But, he noted, “the optimal strategy for population-based H. pylori Screening has not been established and further research is needed to determine who is at risk H. pylori and at what age screening should begin.”

This study shows that the treatment of H. pylori “It definitely lowers your risk for certain kinds of stomach cancer,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

“People who have been proven to H. pylori should be treated,” said Glatt, who is also chief of the infectious diseases division at Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, New York.

Many people with H. pylori have no symptoms. If symptoms occur, they are typically related to a stomach ulcer or gastritis and include stomach pain, nausea, loss of appetite, frequent burping, bloating, and unintentional weight loss.

Glatt said the jury is still out on whether everyone should be tested for the infection, but it makes “sense” that people who have gastrointestinal symptoms consistent with H. pylori should be checked for H. pylori and then treated accordingly.

Judith Kim, MD, a gastroenterologist at NYU Langone Health in New York, who was not involved in the study, noted that “routine screening for H. pylori is recommended in countries with high rates of stomach cancer, but not here.”

“Given the reduction in cancer risk through H. pylori “Treatment should be considered in the United States in asymptomatic individuals with a family history of gastric cancer or in immigrants from high-incidence countries,” Kim said.