The World Health Organization classifies H pylori infection as a class I carcinogen, putting it in the same band of risk for stomach cancer as cigarette smoking and asbestos for lung cancer. Moreover, the European Helicobacter Study Group has defined H pylori infection as the number one risk factor for stomach cancer, stating that early H pylori diagnosis and treatment is the best way to prevent the disease.
One of the problems associated with H pylori is that it can wreak havoc on the digestive system without causing obvious symptoms. Some people do have terrible H pylori symptoms including burning, gnawing and acid reflux in the upper digestive system, belching, bloating and constipation or diarrhea. Some folk have symptoms elsewhere in the body, including fatigue, depression, urticarial, rosacea and headaches. But in people who have no symptoms at all, H pylori may still insidiously lead to stomach cancer in some people. This fact was proven in a 2010 study.
The authors begin their report by stating the following facts about H pylori and cancer:
H. pylori initiates the pathway of gastric carcinogenesis which follows from gastritis through atrophic gastritis (AG), to intestinal metaplasia (IM), dysplasia (DYS) and malignancy.
The presence of these lesions in the general population is a predictor for gastric cancer incidence in the coming decades. Most subjects with H pylori infection and premalignant gastric lesions are asymptomatic.
I have placed the last sentence in bold font to stress its importance. What they are saying is that many people with pre-cancerous lesions in the stomach do not have any symptoms.
The researchers examined 383 patients, undergoing endoscopy. Biopsies were taken from two areas of the stomach – the antrum and corpus, and also where visible abnormalities were found in the tissues. Their study conclusion was as follows:
There is a considerable prevalence of premalignant gastric lesions in asymptomatic subjects. This means that gastric cancer will remain a prevalent disease in western countries.
Unfortunately the researchers did not appear to study whether the lesions found in the study population were associated with H pylori. They simply stated that pre-cancerous lesions were found in 9.3% of the study population, with H pylori present in 22% of the population.
Nevertheless, whether the subjects infected with H pylori had a higher incidence of stomach cancer or not, 9.3% of any asymptomatic population with pre-cancerous changes in stomach tissue is a hell of a lot of people.
In other words, if you took 9.3% of all the people in the world aged over 55, you’d have a lot of people at risk of developing stomach cancer.
C. M. den Hoed. Prevalence of premalignant changes in the stomach of patients undergoing routine colonoscopy; a cohort study. European Helicobacter Study Group. XXIII International Workshop on Helicobacter and Related Bacteria in Chronic Digestive Inflammation and Gastric Cancer. Rotterdam, September 16–18, 2010. P.318.
Dave Hompes’ Comments
It’s major concern that many GPs in the NHS and, in fact, all over the world, do not acknowledge H pylori as a serious problem. As I explain in my free e-book, H Pylori – From Heartburn to Heart Disease & Cancer, this simple stomach infection can lead to serious complications.
Furthermore, the fact that H pylori infection can seemingly lead to pre-cancerous changes in the stomach tissue without causing obvious H pylori symptoms means that folk could fall foul to stomach cancer without ever being tested for H pylori.
As I’ve said in several other articles on this website, and in my publications, if the medical system wants to make vaccines mandatory, and wants all adults over 50 to take statins to keep cholesterol down, it should also make H pylori screening compulsory in adults over 50 or 55 years of age.
After all, H pylori infection – especially the CagA strain – is a risk factor for insulin resistance, high blood pressure, stroke, coronary artery disease, blood lipid changes, B12 and folic acid deficiency, which increases homocysteine (a heart disease marker) and, of course stomach cancer.
When does it become negligence to dismiss H pylori as “harmless”?
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In love and light,
Dave Hompes & The Hompes Method team