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September 24, 2014

Prevention of Gastric Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Section of Early Detection and Prevention, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France
  • 2Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, California
  • 3 Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington
JAMA. 2014;312(12):1197-1198. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.10498

This year, it is estimated that more than 700 000 people will die of gastric cancer, making this disease the third most common cause of cancer death globally.1 Although gastric cancer rates have been declining by approximately 2% per year, the numbers of cases and deaths are expected to increase in coming years, reflecting increasing numbers of older (and thus, higher-risk) individuals in the world. Despite its importance, gastric cancer receives little attention from research funding agencies or public health organizations. For example, the National Cancer Institute annually spends approximately $12 million on programs directly related to gastric cancer, just 0.2% of its budget, and only 10% of this amount is allocated for prevention research.2 In contrast, the annual cost of treating gastric cancer in the United States, a lower-risk country, is estimated at approximately $2 billion.3

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