Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size

Can Antibiotics Lower Stomach Cancer Rates?

People With H. pylori Infection Can Reduce Risk If Drugs Taken Early Enough

Sanitation Key to Reducing Spread continued...

That is why H. pylori infection is disappearing in the U.S. population "at astronomical rates," she says. "The reason why this study was done in China was because H. pylori is not common in the U.S., but it is there." Conversely, stomach cancer is widespread in China, Japan, and Latin America, but not in America.

Besides healthier living conditions here, a diet high in antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables may also prevent H. pylori infection, says Parsonnet.Interestingly, although H. pylori can lead to peptic ulcers, she adds that Americans with a history of stomach ulcers seem to have lower rates of developing stomach cancer than do others.

She wasn't involved in Wong's study, but she did provide an accompanying editorial to it. Both are published in this week's issue of TheJournal of the American Medical Association.

"The take-home message of this study is that just treating H. pylori doesn't seem to be the answer for the general population," she tells WebMD. "But for some people, it can work -- and that's why it's complicated."

Wong says that while his "overall result is negative," he attributes this to his study not being long enough -- a fact Parsonnet notes in her editorial.

"With a longer follow-up, we should be able to demonstrate a more significant result," Wong tells WebMD. Still, his findings may suggest the benefit of early H. pylori detection and treatment -- especially for people with a family risk of stomach cancer or living in countries with high cancer rates. "Treatment may be too late if they already have developed precancerous lesions," he says.

Besides H. pylori infection, stomach cancer risk factors include a family history of the disease, smoking, a high-salt diet, and low produce intake.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
what is your cancer risk
colorectal cancer treatment advances
breast cancer overview slideshow
prostate cancer overview
lung cancer overview slideshow
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
Actor Michael Douglas