It is not clear whether screening for gastric cancer by upper endoscopy or upper gastrointestinal series examinations (looking at the upper and middle sections of the gastrointestinal tract by imaging techniques) reduces mortality.
Nevertheless, the Korean National Cancer Screening Program for gastric cancer was launched in 1999 to screen individuals 40 years and older for gastric cancer using these techniques.
Dr Kui Son Choi and colleagues from Korea evaluated the effectiveness of these techniques in gastric cancer detection and compared their effects on mortality in the Korean population.
The researchers performed a nested case−control study using data from the Korean National Cancer Screening Program for gastric cancer since 2002.
|The overall odds ratios for dying from gastric cancer among ever-screened subjects was 0.79|
A total of 16,584,283 Korean men and women, aged 40 years and older, comprized the cancer-free cohort.
Case subjects were defined as individuals newly diagnosed with gastric cancer from 2004 through 2009 and who died before 2012.
The team matched cases with controls for year of entry into the study cohort, age, sex, and socioeconomic status.
Compared with subjects who had never been screened, the overall odds ratios for dying from gastric cancer among ever-screened subjects was 0.79.
According to screening modality, the research team found that the odds ratios of death from gastric cancer were 0.53 for upper endoscopy, and 0.98 for upper gastrointestinal series.
As the number of endoscopic screening tests performed per subject increased, the team observed that the odds ratio of death from gastric cancer decreased.
Dr Choi's team comments, "Within the Korean National Cancer Screening Program, patients who received an upper endoscopy were less likely to die from gastric cancer."
"No associations were found for upper gastrointestinal series."