Background & aims: In contrast to the dramatic decrease in the overall incidence of gastric cancer, there has been a reported increase in the incidence of cases located in the gastric cardia. The aim of this study was to identify changes in site- and histology-specific incidence rates of gastric adenocarcinoma during a 50-year period.
Methods: The Rochester Epidemiology Project medical records linkage system was used to identify all cases of gastric adenocarcinoma among residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, between 1941 and 1990 (n = 342). Each patient's complete (inpatient and outpatient) medical records were reviewed and tumor location determined from pathological, surgical, endoscopic, and radiological reports. All available histological specimens (n = 246) were reviewed independently.
Results: The overall incidence of gastric cancer decreased from 48.8 per 100,000 person-years in the 1940s to 11.6 per 100,000 in the 1980s, whereas the incidence of adenocarcinoma of the cardia did not change significantly during the 50-year period. The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction increased from 0.0 to 1.9 per 100,000 person-years, but the number of cases was small.
Conclusions: The incidence of adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia has not increased in this population. The reported increase in cardia cancer in other populations may be due to an increasing incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagogastric junction.