Gastric Cancer Caused by H. Pylori Infection? H. pylori – Group 1 Carcinogen Explained


可引致胃癌?! 解構第一類致癌物 - 幽門螺旋菌

Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is no stranger to us. Little are we aware that this long-lived bacteria can cause numerous gastric illnesses including gastric cancer, and it has further been identified as a group 1 carcinogen. Let’s learn more about H. pylori.

What is Helicobacter Pylori?

H. pylori is a type of bacteria that infects your stomach and duodenum. It attacks the lining that protects your stomach by neutralizing your stomach acid, leading to possible stomach or duodenum sores or ulcers, including gastric cancer. Furthermore, neutralizing the gastric acid can create a more hospitable environment for the growth of H. pylori, allowing it to be the only bacteria that can survive in gastric acid.

H. Pylori Classified as a Group 1 Carcinogen

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (an intergovernmental agency within the World Health Organization) classified Helicobacter pylori as a "Class 1 carcinogen" that can cause gastric cancer in 1994, the same category as tobacco. The World Health Organization categorizes carcinogens into four risk categories. Substances in category 1 are clearly carcinogenic to humans, whereas substances in category 4 are potentially carcinogenic to humans.

Recently, H. pylori was added to the latest list of carcinogens by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2021, becoming one of 256 carcinogens.

Test Ahead, Treat in Time

In spite of the serious consequences associated with H. pylori infection, as long as early detection and appropriate treatments are sought, the bacteria can be effectively eradicated, and the condition can be prevented from worsening.

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