Have we Comprehensively Evaluated the Effectiveness of Endoscopic Screening for Gastric Cancer?

  • Hamashima, Chisato (Cancer Screening Assessment and Management Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center)
  • Published : 2015.04.29


Endoscopy has been increasingly used in clinical practice and as a standardized examination procedure for gastrointestinal diseases. However, only a few studies on endoscopic screening for evaluating mortality reduction from gastric cancer have been carried out. Even if a high detection rate is obtained in clinical practice, such a rate cannot be directly accepted as evidence providing the effectiveness of cancer screening. Endoscopic screening for gastric cancer is not an exception of possibility to detect overdiagnosis. If detection rate is used for the evaluation of the effectiveness of cancer screening, the possibility of overestimating the effectiveness of cancer screening cannot be ruled out. To avoid the effect of overdiagnosis and confirm the effectiveness of endoscopic screening, mortality reduction from gastric cancer must be carefully evaluated by conducting reliable studies. The burden of gastric cancer remains real and this cannot be ignored in Eastern Asian countries. To determine the best available method for gastric cancer screening, evaluation of its effectiveness is a must. Endoscopic screening for gastric cancer has shown promising results, and thus deserves further comprehensive evaluation to reliably confirm its effectiveness and how its optimal use can be strategically promoted.


Gastric cancer screening;upper gastrointestinal endoscopy;mortality reduction;overdiagnosis


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