Objective: To determine death rates from gastric cancer when using endoscopic screening.
Material and methods: In this historical cohort study comprising 11,763 participants aged from 40 to 75 years without gastric disorders between 1990 and 1992, 2192 were examined by gastric endoscopy while 9571 were not examined by endoscopy or X-ray. The relative risk of gastric cancer death was compared between the two groups.
Results: When screened with endoscopy, 41 patients were diagnosed with gastric cancer and the ratio of early cancer was 78%. On matching the population-based cancer registry (the Fukui Cancer Registry), 63 patients in the examined group were diagnosed with gastric cancer within 10 years after the initial screening including the above 41 patients. In the non-examined group, 147 patients were diagnosed with gastric cancer in the same period. In the examined and non-examined groups, 5 and 63 patients, respectively, died from gastric cancer. The relative risk for gastric cancer death in the examined group was 0.3465 (95% CI: 0.1396-0.8605) when compared with the non-examined group. For male patients, the relative risk was 0.2174 (95% CI: 0.0676-0.6992).
Conclusions: The death rate from gastric cancer decreased when endoscopic screening was used. Endoscopy is recommended as a population-based screening method for gastric cancer in regions or countries where mortality from this disease is high.