Research To Practice: Nci’s Role
NCI has supported a variety of projects that have helped broaden our understanding of H. pylori and stomach cancer. The non-invasive screening methods developed are integral in monitoring effectiveness of H. pylori eradication strategies and will be essential for identifying people at the highest risk of developing H. pylori mediated stomach cancer. The renowned Cancer Genome Atlas program seeks to find answers to some of these questions by analyzing the genetic variations of stomach cancer.
Another project is the Human Microbiome Project, through which NCI and its partners are supporting the characterization of bacterial species, including H. pylori, within the stomach. This will greatly improve understanding of the complex bacterial interactions that contribute to stomach cancer.
Finally, investigators across NCI have organized the Esophago-Gastric Cancer Task Force, which facilitates quality investigations in gastrointestinal cancer clinical research.
H Pylori Increases The Risk Of Stomach Cancer Especially A Type Called Non
Some stomach cancer cases in the UK are caused by these bacteria. But, as H. pylori infection has become much less common in the UK, stomach cancer rates have dropped.
In the UK, there are other ways to reduce stomach cancer risk that are likely to have a bigger impact than treating H. pylori. This includes stopping smoking, and eating a healthy, balanced diet, high in foods with lots of fibre, like wholegrains, and low in red and processed meat.
Gastric Cancer Risk Factors
People who have a close blood relative who has had gastric cancer are more likely to get it. Certain medical conditions increase the risk of stomach cancer. Familial adenomatous polyposis is a condition that runs in families where people are predisposed to developing polyps. Polyps may later turn into cancer. Pernicious anemia is a risk factor for stomach cancer. People who have it have low red blood cell counts because they have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12. Having no or inadequate gastric acid, a condition called achlorhydria, is also a risk factor for stomach cancer.
Read Also: How Much Is Sculpsure For The Stomach
Can H Pylori Spread From Person To Person
Yes, H. pylori can spread from person to person. H. pylori are found in saliva, plaque on teeth and poop. Infection can be spread through kissing and by transferring the bacteria from the hands of those who have not thoroughly washed them after a bowel movement.
Scientists think H. pylori also might be spread through H. pylori-contaminated water and food.
Gastric Cancer Signs And Symptoms
Stomach cancer is often diagnosed in the late stages because it does not typically produce signs and symptoms in the early stages. When gastric cancer does produce signs or symptoms, a patient with the illness may experience fatigue, unintentional weight loss, loss of appetite, abdominal pain or discomfort, nausea, vomiting, bloody or black stools, heartburn, and indigestion. Feeling bloated after eating may also occur in people who have stomach cancer.
Recommended Reading: What Foods Heal Stomach Lining
Whats The Association Between H Pylori Infection And Stomach Cancer
If you have an _H. pylori _infection, you have an increased risk for stomach cancer later in life. If you have a strong family history of stomach cancer and other cancer risk factors, even though you may not have symptoms of a stomach ulcer, your healthcare provider may recommend being tested for H. pylori antibodies. In addition to screening and treatment, your provider may suggest some lifestyle changes, such as including more fruits, vegetables and fiber in your diet. Regular checkups with your provider and following their recommendations can reduce your cancer risk.
How Is H Pylori Infection Diagnosed
If your healthcare provider suspects H. pylori bacteria may be the cause of a peptic ulcer, they may order one or more of the following tests:
- A breath test: In this test, you exhale into a bag before and after drinking a solution. The test measures the amount of carbon dioxide released in your breath before and after drinking the solution. A higher level after drinking the solution means H. pylori are present.
- A stool test: This test looks for evidence of H. pylori in a stool sample.
- Upper endoscopy: A flexible tube is inserted down the throat into the stomach. A small tissue sample from the stomach or intestine lining is taken for testing for the presence of H. pylori.
Recommended Reading: What To Do For Toddler Stomach Ache
Turning Discovery Into Health
H. pylori bacteria affect nearly half of the world’s population. Remarkably, only a small percentage of individuals who are infected develop gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancer. This finding indicates that while having H. pylori may increase a person’s chance of having stomach cancer in the future, it is not the sole cause of the disease.
Researchers are now looking for small genetic differences in people that affect the way they fight off bacterial infections. Finding these differences may allow clinicians to limit antibiotic treatment to high-risk patients and reduce the risk of generating strains of H. pylori bacteria that are resistant to treatment.
Researchers are also examining the genetic difference between harmful and harmless versions of bacteria. These studies will help clinicians screen patients for the most dangerous types of H. pylori bacteria. NCI-supported researchers also are working to develop a vaccine to prevent H. pylori infections. The overall goal of this research is to dramatically reduce the number of new cases of stomach cancer.
Does Hpylori Cause Cancer
- Yes, infection with Helicobacter pylori increases the risk of some cancers, including stomach cancer
- But for most people, H. pylori will not cause any problemsand it can be treated
- Although H.pylori increases the risk of some cancer types, there is evidence that it may decrease the risk of oesophageal cancer
Don’t Miss: How To Burn Stomach Fat Overnight
What Illnesses Does H Pylori Cause
Complications associated with H. pylori infection include:
- Ulcers.H. pylori can damage the protective lining of your stomach and small intestine. This can allow stomach acid to create an open sore . About 10 percent of people with H. pylori will develop an ulcer.
- Inflammation of the stomach lining.H. pylori infection can irritate your stomach, causing inflammation .
- Stomach cancer.H. pylori infection is a strong risk factor for certain types of stomach cancer .
What Is Gastric Cancer
Gastric cancer, or cancer of the stomach, was once considered a single entity. Now, scientists divide this cancer into two main classes: gastric cardia cancer and non-cardia gastric cancer .
Gastric cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths in the world, killing approximately 738,000 people in 2008 . Gastric cancer is less common in the United States and other Western countries than in countries in Asia and South America.
Overall gastric cancer incidence is decreasing. However, this decline is mainly in the rates of non-cardia gastric cancer . Gastric cardia cancer, which was once very uncommon, has risen in incidence in recent decades .
Infection with H. pylori is the primary identified cause of gastric cancer. Other risk factors for gastric cancer include chronic gastritis older age male sex a diet high in salted, smoked, or poorly preserved foods and low in fruits and vegetables tobacco smoking pernicious anemia a history of stomach surgery for benign conditions and a family history of stomach cancer .
H. pylori has different associations with the two main classes of gastric cancer. Whereas people infected with H. pylori have an increased risk of non-cardia gastric cancer, their risk of gastric cardia cancer is not increased and may even be decreased.
Don’t Miss: What’s On The Right Side Of Your Stomach
Different Regions Different Strategies
The discovery of the link between H. pylori and ulcers in the 1980s changed the face of ulcer treatment. Antibiotics are now routinely used to kill the bacterium, and ulcer recurrence rates have plummeted as a result.
The unquestioned success of antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori ulcers has led to suggestions that the drugs should be given to everyone to prevent ulcers and cancers of the lower stomach.
While the strategy may prove to be a good idea in developing nations, where stomach cancer is still a leading killer, it may not be advisable in the United States and other industrialized countries, longtime H. pylori researcher Martin J. Blaser, MD, tells WebMD.
“Stomach cancer is disappearing in the West, while cancer of the esophagus is increasing more rapidly than any other cancer,” says Blaser, who leads the department of internal medicine at the NYU School of Medicine.
“We are increasingly finding that the story of helicobacter is not black and white. It is gray. Any calculation of the benefits of eradicating this bacteria has to include the potential health cost.”
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
What Are The Symptoms Of H Pylori
Most people have the bacteria for years without knowing it because they dont have any symptoms. Experts dont know why.
You may have redness and swelling in your stomach lining. This is called gastritis.
You may get sores or peptic ulcers in your stomach or the first part of your small intestine . Ulcer symptoms may include belly or abdominal pain, which can:
Be a dull pain that doesnt go away
Happen 2 to 3 hours after you eat
Come and go for several days or weeks
Happen in the middle of the night when your stomach is empty
Go away when you eat or take medicines that reduce your stomach acid level
Other symptoms of an ulcer may include:
The symptoms of ulcers may look like other health problems. Always see your healthcare provider to be sure.
Also Check: Is Yogurt Good For Your Stomach
How Are H Pylori Infections Treated
If you have an H. pylori infection that isnt causing you any problems and you arent at increased risk of stomach cancer, treatment may not offer any benefits.
Stomach cancer, along with duodenal and stomach ulcers, is associated with H. pylori infection. If you have close relatives with stomach cancer or a problem such as a stomach or duodenal ulcer, your doctor may want you to have treatment. Treatment can cure an ulcer, and it may reduce your risk of developing stomach cancer.
How Are H Pylori Infections Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask about your medical history and family history of disease. Be sure to tell your doctor about any medications youre taking, including any vitamins or supplements. If youre experiencing symptoms of a peptic ulcer, your doctor will likely ask you specifically about your use of NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen.
Your doctor may also perform many other tests and procedures to help confirm their diagnosis:
Also Check: What Exercise Burns The Most Stomach Fat
What Is The Role Of Helicobacter Pylori Infection In The Etiology Of Gastric Cancer
Chronic bacterial infection with H pylori is the strongest risk factor for stomach cancer.
H pylori may infect 50% of the world’s population, but many fewer than 5% of infected individuals develop cancer. It may be that only a particular strain of H pylori is strongly associated with malignancy, probably because it is capable of producing the greatest amount of inflammation. In addition, full malignant transformation of affected parts of the stomach may require that the human host have a particular genotype of interleukin to cause the increased inflammation and an increased suppression of gastric acid secretion. For example, IL-17A and IL-17F are inflammatory cytokines that play a critical role in inflammation. Wu et al found that carriage of IL-17F 7488GA and GG genotypes were associated with an increased risk of gastric cancer.
H pylori infection is associated with chronic atrophic gastritis, and patients with a history of prolonged gastritis have a sixfold increased risk of developing gastric cancer. Interestingly, this association is particularly strong for tumors located in the antrum, body, and fundus of the stomach but does not seem to hold for tumors originating in the cardia.
Who Is At Risk For Gastric Cancer
Approximately 28,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with gastric cancer every year in the U.S. The median age at diagnosis of a typical patient is 68 years. It is most common in people between the ages of 65 and 74. Males are more likely to be diagnosed with the malignancy than men. About 1.7% of all cancers diagnosed every year in the U.S. are stomach cancers. It is the 15th most common cancer. Researchers suspect incidence of this cancer are going down since people are consuming fewer foods that are salted and smoked.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Get Stomach Cancer
What Can I Do To Prevent H Pylori
Health experts dont know for sure how the bacteria passes from person to person. But having good health habits can help keep you safe. These habits include:
Washing your hands with soap and water. It is very important to do this after using the bathroom and before eating.
Making sure all food you eat has been cleaned and cooked safely
Making sure that your drinking water is safe and clean
What Are The Complications Of H Pylori
If you are infected with the bacteria you can get a painful sore called a peptic ulcer. These sores form in your upper digestive tract.
A very bad ulcer can wear away your stomach lining. It can also cause problems such as:
Bleeding when a blood vessel is worn away
A hole or perforation in your stomach wall
Blockage when the ulcer is in a spot that blocks food from leaving your stomach
H. pylori can also lead to stomach cancer.
Recommended Reading: How To Calm An Anxiety Stomach
The Secrets Of H Pylori
Despite the prevalence and ramifications of H. pylori infection, understanding how the bacterium behaves in our stomachs has proved challenging.
Researchers, many from Stanford University School of Medicine, in California, recently carried out a set of studies to understand how H. pylori remain in the stomach so successfully. The scientists also hope to provide clues as to how these bacteria might be displaced.
Using cutting-edge visualization tools, the scientists identified H. pyloris hiding place. They published their findings recently in the journal PLOS Biology.
H. pylori are highly specialized to colonize the stomach, which is a particularly inhospitable place to live it is essentially a vat of hydrochloric acid. Despite this, the bacteria thrive and can maintain their position for decades.
Aside from the intense chemistry of the stomach, its cells are replaced rapidly, making it even more difficult to keep a foothold in the stomach.
Antibiotics can kill H.pylori but, commonly, they do not eradicate the bacteria entirely, and the population soon regrows. Senior author Dr. Manuel Amieva explains that The reemerging strain is invariably just the same as the one thought to have been eradicated.
This infers that H. pylori have a hiding place, somewhere, out of harms way, that the bacteria can regenerate in safety. The authors of the recent paper wanted to uncover this hiding place.
Immune Response To H Pylori
H. pylori induces both humoral and cellular immune responses. Local and systemic antibody responses have been demonstrated that include IgA, IgM, and IgG isotypes . Early studies with mouse models demonstrated that immunization with H. pylori antigens could induce protective immunity .
Although H. pylori proteins have been demonstrated in the lamina propria of the stomach , H. pylori has generally been considered a noninvasive pathogen residing primarily in the extracellular mucus layer. However, several studies have demonstrated the ability of H. pylori to invade gastric epithelial cells both in vitro and in vivo, in the stomachs of humans and monkeys as well as in mice with atrophic gastritis . H. pylori bacteria have also been shown to be bound to erythrocytes within the microvessels of the lamina propria . Transmission electron microscopy and immunogold detection have been used to elegantly demonstrate that H. pylori cells are in direct contact with immune cells of the lamina propria in the majority of cases of gastritis and gastric cancer .
Macrophages. Macrophage signaling of T cells.
Macrophages as effector cells.
Avoidance of phagocytosis by macrophages.
Inflammation-mediated migration of peripheral cells.
You May Like: Can Stomach Gas Cause Back Pain
H Pylori Test Hints At Risk Factor For Stomach Cancer
Infection with Helicobacter pylori is one of the top risk factors for stomach cancer â but only a small proportion of individuals who carry the bacterium go on to develop cancer. Identifying who is most at risk for cancer will help doctors shape treatment and screening strategies for patients infected with H. pylori.
Now, a pilot study by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Zhengzhou University in China, facilitated by Fred Hutchâs China Initiative, hints that the strain of H. pylori may influence cancer risk. The work, , shows that patients with stomach cancer are much more likely to be infected with H. pylori that possesses a specific variant of a gene called cagA, which suggests that it may raise the risk of stomach cancer in this region.
âHaving the cagA gene has been a marker for cancer and ulcers in Western populations, but in East Asian populations, they all have cagA â itâs not particularly relevant. But in this study weâre saying actually, the type of cagA matters ,â said Fred Hutch microbiologist Dr. Nina Salama, the studyâs senior author.
What Role Does H Pylori Infection Play In Colon Cancer
In terms of stomach cancer, The World Health Organization classifies H pylori as a class I carcinogen, which means the bacteria are in the same classification as smoking and asbestos are for lung cancer. Furthermore, the general consensus is that H pylori infection is the number one risk factor for stomach cancer. It defies belief how some doctors pass off H pylori as non-problematic.
Some studies indicate relationships between H pylori and other types of cancer, leading scientists to become interested in the role of the infection in colon cancer. Its role in colon cancer is controversial.
A Greek study recently explored the relationship between H. pylori infection and this disease by analyzing a number of relevant studies . In these studies, researchers combine the pooled data from all the studies they can find and then put the values through a series of statistical analyses to determine correlations or relationships between different factors.
The Greek researchers found a statistically significant relationship between H pylori and colon cancer and concluded , The results of this study showed a statistically significant relationship between H. pylori infection and colon cancer.
Dave Hompes Comment
Recommendations That May Help You Overcome H Pylori & Its Symptoms
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact us by using the web-form, below.
In love and light,
Dave Hompes & The Hompes Method team
Also Check: What To Do For Stomach Virus In Toddlers