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ABSTRACT: Although the overall incidence of gastric cancer has steadily declined in the United States, it is estimated that more than 12,000 persons died from gastric cancer in 2003. The incidence of distal stomach tumors has greatly declined, but reported cases of proximal gastric carcinomas, including tumors at the gastroesophageal junction, have increased. Early diagnosis of gastric cancer is difficult because most patients are asymptomatic in the early stage. Weight loss and abdominal pain often are late signs of tumor progression. Chronic atrophic gastritis, Helicobacter pylori infection, smoking, heavy alcohol use, and several dietary factors have been linked to increased risks for gastric cancer. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is the preferred diagnostic modality for evaluation of patients in whom stomach cancer is suspected. Accurate staging of gastric wall invasion and lymph node involvement is important for determining prognosis and appropriate treatment. Endoscopic ultrasonography, in combination with computed tomographic scanning and operative lymph node dissection, may be involved in staging the tumor. Treatment with surgery alone offers a high rate of failure. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy have not improved survival rates when used as single modalities, but combined therapy has shown some promise. Primary prevention, by control of modifiable risk factors and increased surveillance of persons at increased risk, is important in decreasing morbidity and mortality.
Update on Helicobacter pylori Treatment - Article
ABSTRACT: One half of the world's population has Helicobacter pylori infection, with an estimated prevalence of 30 percent in North America. Although it is unclear whether eradication of H. pylori improves symptoms in patients with nonulcer dyspepsia, there is strong evidence that eradication of this bacteria improves healing and reduces the risk of recurrence or rebleeding in patients with duodenal or gastric ulcer. A "test-and-treat" strategy is recommended for most patients with undifferentiated dyspepsia. With this approach, patients undergo a noninvasive test for H. pylori infection and, if positive, are treated with eradication therapy. This strategy reduces the need for antisecretory medications as well as the number of endoscopies. The urea breath test or stool antigen test is recommended. Until recently, the recommended duration of therapy for H. pylori eradication was 10 to 14 days. Shorter courses of treatment (i.e., one to five days) have demonstrated eradication rates of 89 to 95 percent with the potential for greater patient compliance. A one-day treatment course consists of bismuth subsalicylate, amoxicillin, and metronidazole, all given four times with a one-time dose of lansoprazole. In children with documented H. pylori infection, however, all regimens should continue to be prescribed for seven to 14 days until short-course treatment is studied and its effectiveness has been established in this population.
Gastric Ulcer and Abnormal Findings on CT - Photo Quiz