Revised 07 January 2013
Primary screening for gastric cancer is not recommended as the effectiveness of screening is uncertain in the Western population and the incidence of gastric cancer is low.
There should be a high index of suspicion in symptomatic persons at increased risk. Risk factors for stomach cancer include: a family history of stomach cancer, pernicious anemia, gastric polyps, birth in a country where gastric cancer is common, e.g., Japan, known genetic predisposition (e.g. Familial adenomatous polyposis [FAP] or Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer [HNPCC or Lynch syndrome]), and a previous partial gastrectomy.
Most early curable gastric cancers present as gastric ulcers. Such patients should have gastroscopy and biopsy to exclude cancer.
Patients with a suspected familial syndrome should be referred to the Hereditary Cancer Program at the BC Cancer Agency for counselling and genetic testing where feasible.