The low incidence of stomach cancer in Western countries eliminates the need for studies of early diagnosis. However, in Japan this cancer is 11% of all deaths among adult males. Therefore routine gastroscopy performed the workplace, which has coincided with a reduction in mortality from gastric cancer. It is unknown whether these two facts are related.
Another possibility is the radiology study with barium, in which the patient swallows a contrast fluid vessel and subjected to X-rays to see inside the esophagus and stomach. While it is easiest that endoscopy is less accurate and does not allow biopsies.
There is a close association between gastric infection by a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, found in 30% of Western populations and stomach cancer. The H pylori has demonstrated its ability to induce disease in experimental models. In addition, bacteria seem to be determinant in the development of duodenal ulcer, so proper diagnosis and treatment may reduce the risk of ulcers and cancer.There is therefore an eradication therapy of bacteria in the stomach that combines two or more antibiotics with a potent inhibitor of gastric acid secretion such as omeprazole, but only for the time indicated in those with demonstrated presence of bacteria in the stomach or duodenum and obvious injury to the mucosa. Anyway, there are calls that demand extensive use of this type of treatment for patients with persistent gastric symptoms (dyspepsia) in which an injury is not evident in the mucosa but bacteria.
In Japan, it is used to determine blood levels of pepsinogen (an enzyme produced in the stomach to digest food proteins) as a diagnostic of the amount of acid secreted. This marker may be useful as an initial test to determine which patients should undergo a gastroscopy, given that their decline is associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer. In any case this approach seems interesting only in countries with high rates of stomach cancer, such as Japan.
credit to: Dr. Julio Mayol Martínez, Dr. Jonathan Rhodes