Gastric or stomach cancer is the fourth most common type of cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Over the last 50 years here in the United States, rates for this type of cancer have been declining in all ages and races, until now. A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows noncardia gastric cancer, found in the lower part of the stomach, is increasing in younger white Americans.
Researchers studied gastric cancer rates in a quarter of American adults for 30 years. The numbers declined for everyone except one group, Caucasians 25 to 39 years old, where cancers of the lower stomach rose about 3% a year.
This type of cancer is mostly caused by a bacterial infection in the lining of the stomach. Dr. Charles Rabkin, a researcher with the National Cancer Institute said, "we're concerned that this may be a signal that there's a new gastric cancer risk factor, which will increase cancer rates in other groups as time goes on."