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Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Description of the Evidence

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Evidence of Harm Associated With Screening

Harms of routine screening for gastric cancer are poorly quantitated or reported, and derive chiefly from screening experiences in very high-risk areas such as Japan.[19] The most frequent harm is the occurrence of false-positive tests.[20] Exposure to the low doses of radiation (about 0.6 mSv in photofluorography) carries a theoretical but poorly quantified risk of carcinogenesis. Additional rare complications of screening may include adverse effects of premedication (used for endoscopy and sometimes photofluorography), and bleeding or perforation from endoscopy.[19] As with any screening test, there is a possibility of overdiagnosis with attendant overtreatment. Since harms such as perforation and bleeding may vary with the experience of the screening center, they may be higher in populations at low risk for gastric cancer, such as the United States, than in mass screening programs in Japan.

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Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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