Objectives: Early gastric cancer (EGC) can be treated by minimally invasive endoscopic resection and has an excellent prognosis. The aim of this study was to investigate whether repeated esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) screening is an effective method for detecting EGC that can be treated by endoscopic resection.
Methods: For patients diagnosed with gastric cancer in the Korean National Cancer Center screening program, we analyzed the incidence of gastric cancer, clinicopathological characteristics, and treatment modality according to whether they had (repeated screening group) or not (infrequent screening group) undergone EGD screening within 2 years before diagnosis.
Results: Of the 18,414 patients who underwent EGD, 81 (0.44%) were found to have gastric cancer. Incidence of gastric cancer in repeated screening group was lower than that of infrequent screening group (multiple adjusted odds ratio=0.45, 95% confidence interval: 0.26-0.77, P=0.004). The proportion of EGCs was 96% (25 of 26) n the repeated screening group and 71% (34 of 48) in the infrequent screening group (P=0.01). Mean (SD) tumor size was smaller [1.9 (1.2) vs. 3.0 (1.6) cm, P=0.01] and the proportion of intramucosal cancer was higher [81% (21 of 26) vs. 50% (24 of 48), P=0.02] in the former than in the latter. Endoscopic resection was performed more frequently in the repeated screening group [54% (14 of 26) vs. 23% (11 of 48), P=0.007].
Conclusion: Repeated endoscopic screening within 2 years decreased the incidence of gastric cancer and endoscopic resection could be applied to more patients who underwent EGD screening within 2 years.