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World J Clin Oncol. 2012 Sep 10;3(9):128-36. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v3.i9.128.

Advances in gastric cancer prevention.

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  • 1Antonio Giordano, Letizia Cito, INT-CROM, "Pascale Foundation" National Cancer Institute-Cancer Research Center, 83013 Mercogliano, Italy.


Gastric cancer is a multifactorial neoplastic pathology numbering among its causes both environmental and genetic predisposing factors. It is mainly diffused in South America and South-East Asia, where it shows the highest morbility percentages and it is relatively scarcely diffused in Western countries and North America. Although molecular mechanisms leading to gastric cancer development are only partially known, three main causes are well characterized: Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, diet rich in salted and/or smoked food and red meat, and epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) mutations. Unhealthy diet and H. pylori infection are able to induce in stomach cancer cells genotypic and phenotypic transformation, but their effects may be crossed by a diet rich in vegetables and fresh fruits. Various authors have recently focused their attention on the importance of a well balanced diet, suggesting a necessary dietary education starting from childhood. A constant surveillance will be necessary in people carrying E-cadherin mutations, since they are highly prone in developing gastric cancer, also within the inner stomach layers. Above all in the United States, several carriers decided to undergo a gastrectomy, preferring changing their lifestyle than living with the awareness of the development of a possible gastric cancer. This kind of choice is strictly personal, hence a decision cannot be suggested within the clinical management. Here we summarize the key points of gastric cancer prevention analyzing possible strategies referred to the different predisposing factors. We will discuss about the effects of diet, H. pylori infection and E-cadherin mutations and how each of them can be handled.


Cancer; Cell cycle; Diet; Helicobacter pylori; Lifestyle; Prevention; Vegetables

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