Stomach Cancer on Rise in Young Whites

BETHESDA, Md., May 7 (UPI) — The rate of cancer of the lower stomach has decreased overall in U.S. adults but has increased in whites ages 25-39, researchers found.

Senior author Dr. Charles Rabkin of the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., reports the number of cases of lower-stomach cancer per 100,000 people declined during the 30-year study period for all races — from 5.9 to 4.0 per 100,000 among whites, from 13.7 to 9.5 per 100,000 among blacks and from 17.8 to 11.7 per 100,000 among other racial groups.

The rates of lower-stomach cancer declined for all age groups among blacks and people of other races, but in whites rates fell from 20 to 13 per 100,000 among people ages 60-84, from 3 to 2 per 100,000 among those ages 40-59, but increased from 0.27 to 0.45 per 100,000 among those ages 25-39.

The researchers explain this type of cancer — seen mostly in those age 65 and older — were usually caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, suggests the declines in lower-stomach cancer are consistent with observed declines in infection with Helicobacter pylori. However, the increase among young whites suggests a new carcinogenic process may be emerging or perhaps is becoming unmasked by the eradication of Helicobacter pylori.

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