The present status of screening for gastric cancer, and the natural course of the disease, are the concerns of this paper. The development of new diagnostic modalities has led to an increase in the percentage of early gastric cancers detected. Improvements in technology, and alterations in nutrient intake, are linked to the reduction in the mortality from gastric cancer that has taken place. Observation of the natural course of gastric cancer development shows that "early gastric cancer" is genuinely the early stage of gastric cancer, and not a term for a different disease phenomenon. A "malignant cycle" was shown to be implicated in the process of cancer development.