Controlling Gastric Cancer in a World of Heterogeneous Risk

Gastroenterology. 2023 Apr;164(5):736-751. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2023.01.018. Epub 2023 Jan 24.


Gastric cancer (GC) is a leading cause of global mortality but also a cancer whose footprint is highly unequal. This review aims to define global disease epidemiology, critically appraise strategies of prevention and disease attenuation, and assess how these strategies could be applied to improve outcomes from GC in a world of variable risk and disease burden. Strategies of primary prevention focus on improving the detection and eradication of the main environmental risk factor, Helicobacter pylori. In certain countries of high incidence, endoscopic or radiographic screening of the asymptomatic general population has been adopted as a means of secondary prevention. By contrast, identification and targeted surveillance of individuals with precancerous lesions (such as intestinal metaplasia) is being increasingly embraced in nations of low incidence. This review also highlights existing knowledge gaps in GC prevention as well as the role of emerging technologies for early detection and risk stratification.

Keywords: Atrophic Gastritis; Gastric Cancer; Helicobacter pylori; Intestinal Metaplasia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Endoscopy / adverse effects
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology
  • Helicobacter Infections* / complications
  • Helicobacter Infections* / diagnosis
  • Helicobacter Infections* / epidemiology
  • Helicobacter pylori*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Precancerous Conditions* / diagnosis
  • Precancerous Conditions* / epidemiology
  • Precancerous Conditions* / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms* / prevention & control