Stomach cancer is the 4th most common cancer, and the 2nd leading cause of cancer related death, in the world.
Dr Ernst Kuipers and colleagues from the Netherlands undertook long term monitoring of the 3 types of cell changes indicative of subsequent stomach cancer.
|Most of the cases were intestinal metaplasia|
The researchers tracked all new cases of atrophic gastritis, intestinal metaplasia, and dysplasia recorded in the Dutch national registry of diseased tissue samples.
The team reported that the monitoring period covered the years 1991 to 2005, and included almost 98,000 patients who had a routine tissue sample taken.
Most of the cases were intestinal metaplasia, which was diagnosed in almost 66,000 patients during the monitoring period.
The team found that the rate of new cases fell steadily by between 2% and 3% a year in women and men, respectively.
Dysplasia, which was diagnosed in just over 8500 patients, and atrophic gastritis, which was diagnosed in just over 23,000, both fell by more than 8% a year.
The team noted that the fall in new cases of intestinal metaplasia and atrophic gastritis was even sharper after 1996.
Dr Kuipers' team concluded, "On the basis of these trends, new cases of gastric cancer will fall by at least 24% over the next decade in the West, without the need for treatment."
"The fall in the number of cases of gastric inflammation caused by Helicobacter pylori infection largely explains the figures."