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Cancer Health Center

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Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Overview

Note: Separate PDQ summaries on Stomach (Gastric) Cancer Prevention, Gastric Cancer Treatment, and Levels of Evidence for Cancer Screening and Prevention Studies are also available.


Recommended Related to Cancer

General Information About Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors

Epidemiology The age-adjusted incidence of carcinoid tumors worldwide is approximately 2 per 100,000 persons.[1,2] The average age at diagnosis is 61.4 years.[3] Carcinoid tumors represent about 0.5% of all newly diagnosed malignancies.[2,3] Anatomy Carcinoid tumors are rare, slow-growing tumors that originate in cells of the diffuse neuroendocrine system. They occur most frequently in tissues derived from the embryonic gut. Foregut tumors, which account for up to 25% of cases, arise...

Read the General Information About Gastrointestinal Carcinoid Tumors article > >

Based on fair evidence, screening would not result in a decrease in mortality from gastric cancer in areas with relatively low incidence of the disease, such as the United States.

Magnitude of Effect: Fair evidence for no reduction in mortality.

  • Study Design: Evidence obtained from case-control and cohort studies, primarily from high-risk areas such as Eastern Asia.
  • Internal Validity: Fair.
  • Consistency: Poor in prospective studies.[1]
  • External Validity: Poor. Studies on populations in high-risk areas may not be applicable to low-risk areas such as the United States.


Based on solid evidence, screening would result in uncommon but serious side effects associated with endoscopy, which may include perforation, cardiopulmonary events, aspiration pneumonia, and bleeding requiring hospitalization.

False-positive tests are also common in association with serum pepsinogen or gastric photofluorography.

Magnitude of Effect: Good evidence for rare but serious harms.

Description of the Evidence

  • Study Design: Evidence obtained from screening programs and from case series.
  • Internal Validity: Fair.
  • Consistency: Inadequate evidence.
  • External Validity: Poor.


  1. Leung WK, Wu MS, Kakugawa Y, et al.: Screening for gastric cancer in Asia: current evidence and practice. Lancet Oncol 9 (3): 279-87, 2008.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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