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Am J Med. 1999 Feb;106(2):222-6.

Helicobacter pylori and gastric cancer.

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Division of Gastroenterology, The University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0362, USA.


Infection with Helicobacter pylori is now recognized as the primary cause of peptic ulcers and their recurrence. Compelling evidence has also been found linking H. pylori infection to gastric cancer, the second most common cancer in the world. Given the high rate of patient morbidity and mortality associated with gastric cancer, any method by which one can reduce the occurrence of the disease or increase its early detection is desirable. The strong correlation with H. pylori infection and the current availability of easily administered tests for the detection of the pathogen argue for screening at least those individuals with a family history of gastric cancer or other risk factors. This article reviews the association between H. pylori and gastric cancer and the pathologic changes that the infection produces in the gastric mucosa, as well as the cost-effectiveness of universal testing and eradication of the infection in H. pylori-positive individuals to reduce gastric cancer.

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