Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2010; 14 (4): 302-308

Risk factors in gastric cancer

D. Compare, A. Rocco, G. Nardone

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Gastroenterology Unit, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples (Italy)

Abstract. – State of the Art: Gastric cancer (GC) is still a major health problem worldwide due to its frequency, poor prognosis and limited treatment options. At present prevention is likely to be the most effective means of reducing the incidence and mortality from this disease. The most important etiological factors implicated in gastric carcinogenesis are diet and Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection.
High intake of salted, pickled or smoked foods, as well as dried fish and meat and refined carbohydrates significantly increased the risk of developing GC while fibers, fresh vegetables and fruit were found to be inversely associated with GC risk.
Epidemiological investigations (retrospective, case-control and prospective) and several meta-analyses have demonstrated that concurrent or previous H. pylori infection is associated with an increased risk of GC in respect to uninfected people. H. pylori colonizes gastric mucosa where it induces a complex inflammatory and immune reaction that on time leads to a severe mucosal damage i.e., atrophy, intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia. The risk of GC is closely related to the grade and extension of gastric atrophy, IM and dysplasia.
Perspectives and Conclusions: Today a plausible program for GC prevention means: (1) a correct dietary habit since childhood increasing vegetables and fruit intake, (2) a decrease of H. pylori spread improving family and community sanitation and hygiene, (3) a search and treat H. pylori strategy in offspring of GC, (4) a search and treat H. pylori strategy in patients with chronic atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia (IM), (5) a careful endoscopic and histologic follow-up if precancerous lesions persist irrespective of H. pylori eradication.

Corresponding Author: Gerardo Nardone, MD; e-mail:

To cite this article

D. Compare, A. Rocco, G. Nardone
Risk factors in gastric cancer

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Year: 2010
Vol. 14 - N. 4
Pages: 302-308