Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a bacteria that lives in the stomach of over half the people in the world.  While it can cause common diseases like gastritis and ulcers of both the stomach and beginning of the small intestine (the duodenum), it has also been known to be a risk factor for stomach cancer.  A study being published in the January 30, 2020 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine examined the benefits of treating H. pylori infection in patients who had a 1st degree relative (parent, sibling, or child) with stomach cancer.  The authors found that there was a 73% reduction in the risk of stomach cancer in those patients who were cured of the H. pylori infection.  Though stomach cancer is a less common cause of cancer, patients with a family history of stomach cancer should be tested for H. pylori infection with subsequent treatment and confirmation of cure if positive.  To find out more about H. pylori infection and how you can be tested, please call and make an appointment.

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