Ulcer Bacteria Linked to Stomach Cancer

UlcersA new study by researchers at the University of Leeds in England has found a link between bacteria called helicobacter pylori (h. pylori) and stomach cancer. H. pylori is a type of bacteria found in the stomach that was discovered in 1982.  Over 50% of the world’s population has been infected with this bacteria and do not exhibit any symptoms. However, acute infections often lead to gastritis, stomach ulcers, abdominal pain, and/or nausea. The research at the University of Leeds provides more definitive proof of the serious role that this bacteria plays in stomach cancer.

There are three ways to test for h. pylori:

  1. The most accurate way is an EGD with a biopsy of the stomach
  2. A breath test, which is offered by Dr. Nowain in his office
  3. A stool test.

Blood tests are no longer recommended as they only show evidence of exposure to H. pylori in the past, but do not necessarily mean that a patient requires treatment.

The Leeds study found that patients who had the bacteria were 3 to 6 times more likely to contract stomach cancer. H. pylori is a corkscrew bacteria that digs into the stomach’s lining, but, luckily, it can be treated with a prescription of antibiotics. Ari Nowain, MD is an expert gastroenterologist located in Beverly Hills who has years of experience dealing with a wide variety of intestinal conditions.

What Is Stomach Cancer?

Stomach cancer, or gastric cancer, is malignant growths that are on the lining of the stomach. Thankfully, there has been a decrease in cases over the past 60 years, with around 15,000 deaths and 21,300 new cases in 2012 linked to the disease. If found early enough, stomach cancer is treatable and can be cured. However, if the cancer is too far advanced, as it is in most cases, a patient’s rate of survival greatly decreases.

Stomach Cancer Symptoms

In it’s earliest stages, stomach cancer has few symptoms, which include:

  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Discomfort
  • Feeling bloated
  • Early satiety (feeling full earlier than usual)

However, as the disease progresses more extreme and painful symptoms can be seen, including:

  • Blood in stool (looks black/tarry)
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Vomiting/vomiting blood
  • Pain after eating
  • Weakness or fatigue

It’s for these reasons that make this study so important. By understanding the link between ulcers, H. pylori, and stomach cancer, gastroenterologists like Dr. Nowain will have a better idea of the increased risk factors for particular patients. As with most diseases, the timing with which it is found can have a profound effect on a patient’s chance of survival.

How Can Stomach Cancer Be Treated

Stomach cancer is similar to other cancers, in that many of the better-known treatments are also used. There are three ways to treat stomach cancer:

  1. Gastrectomy, which is the surgical removal of all or part of the stomach. This can include tissue surrounding the stomach
  2. Radiation
  3. Chemotherapy

Book Your Gastroenterologist Appointment Today

Dr. Nowain has years of experience and has helped thousands of patients by detecting and treating a variety of conditions and diseases. His hands-on approach and sensitivity to individual issues make him the perfect gastroenterologist for patients hesitant to undergo any type of procedure. If you or someone you know would like to see Dr. Nowain for yourself about stomach cancer, testing, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to call (310) 657-4444 to schedule an appointment today.