Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death worldwide. A large body of evidence supports a causal role of Helicobacter pylori in the majority of gastric malignancies. Great strides have been made in understanding the pathogenesis of this relationship, but much remains to be learned. Moreover, because of the high prevalence of infection, the lack of definitive trials, and the challenges of H. pylori treatment, there remains no consensus on the role of routine screening and treatment of this infection to prevent cancer. This article reviews the current knowledge on H. pylori and gastric cancer and presents some of the clinical and public health challenges associated with this pathogen.