Who should be screened for stomach cancer early?

People infected with HP, smoking, drinking alcohol ... have a high risk of stomach cancer, early screening can detect the disease.

Stomach cancer occurs when stomach cells mutate, multiply out of control, invade surrounding tissues, or metastasize to other organs through the lymph node system.

Doctor, Dr. Vu Truong Khanh - Head of Gastroenterology - Hepatobiliary - Pancreatic Department, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi, said that in the early stages, the disease shows few or almost no symptoms, sometimes when it can be confused with other stomach diseases. Screening even before showing symptoms can detect disease early, improve treatment efficiency, and increase survival rate by more than 90%. Here are 6 subjects that should be screened for stomach cancer early.

HP infection

Dr. Khanh cited a number of studies showing that Helicobacter Pylori (HP) bacteria increase the risk of stomach cancer more than 2.5 times. About 2-3% of people infected with HP develop gastric adenocarcinoma directly and more than 60% of cases are found to be related to it. This bacteria also causes many stomach diseases such as acute or chronic gastritis, gastric ulcer... indirectly creating precancerous lesions.

Once entering the stomach, HP causes ongoing inflammation. The gastric epithelial cells are damaged, metaplasia, cause structural instability and lead to cancer. Stomach cancer always forms through stages including atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, dysplasia, early cancer, and advanced gastric cancer.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about two-thirds of the world's population is infected with HP. According to Dr. Khanh, the infection rate is high, so the group of people infected with HP should be on the lookout for complications. like cancer. The case of HP infection without symptoms is very common, can progress to silent gastric cancer. Therefore, if infected with HP bacteria, the patient should be screened early.

Addiction to tobacco and alcohol

According to a meta-analysis by Hamadan University of Health Sciences (Iran) of 233 studies involving more than 33 million people, smoking increased the risk of stomach cancer by 61%. Dr. Khanh explained, smoking also reduces the effectiveness of eradicating HP bacteria in the stomach, making the infection worse than not smoking. The number of cigarettes smoked per day and the duration of smoking is directly proportional to the risk of stomach cancer. If you smoke before the age of 26, the risk is higher.

Also according to a study by Hamadan University of Health Sciences, long-term alcohol abuse increases the risk of disease by 73%. These two groups of subjects can screen for early gastric cancer.

Habits of eating salty and processed foods

Eating too much salt, abusing processed foods, pickled vegetables, pickles... increases the risk of stomach cancer. Eating foods high in salt makes the stomach lining vulnerable to damage, causing cell death or proliferation of regenerative cells, leading to inflammation and atrophy. These lesions increase the likelihood of HP infection or may aggravate the infection, forming precancerous lesions.

Sodium nitrate and nitrite compounds in processed foods, when consumed in excess, will react with amines to form high levels of nitrosamines, causing toxicity and increasing the risk of stomach cancer. People who eat salty foods and processed foods can screen for stomach cancer early .

Has a family member with stomach cancer?

Research from Portugal and Italy published in the American Library of Medicine shows that 10% of stomach cancers are familial. Among them, cases of hereditary syndromes account for 1-3% of the total cases. If you have a father, mother, or sibling with stomach cancer in your family, you should be screened for stomach cancer when there are no symptoms. Early detection of the disease helps to plan appropriate treatment .

Ever had surgery to treat stomach disease?

Dr. Khanh added, people who have surgery to remove part of the stomach or treat stomach ulcers have an increased risk of cancer many years later. This group of people should have regular check-ups to check stomach function and screen for cancer risk.

People who have been treated for stomach diseases need to be screened for cancer early. Photo: Freepik


The risk of developing stomach cancer increases significantly after age 50. Therefore, this group of people should be screened for stomach cancer early. According to Globocan 2020, there are more than 17,000 new cases of stomach cancer and nearly 14,700 deaths. The incidence of the disease is increasing and is tending to be younger. Many cases of stomach cancer are under the age of 40.

"Early stomach cancer progresses slowly but silently, it is difficult to recognize by clinical symptoms. Most of the detected cases are at the late stage, so the mortality rate is high. However, the disease has a high mortality rate. can be controlled at an early stage.Early screening for stomach cancer can improve survival after treatment, even if it is completely treated," said Dr. Khanh.

Trinh Mai

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