|LETTERS TO EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 46-47
Formulating a comprehensive public health strategy for the prevention and control of stomach cancer
Saurabh R Shrivastava, Prateek S Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Kancheepuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||7-Jan-2015|
Saurabh R Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Kancheepuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Formulating a comprehensive public health strategy for the prevention and control of stomach cancer. J Med Trop 2015;17:46-7
|How to cite this URL:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Formulating a comprehensive public health strategy for the prevention and control of stomach cancer. J Med Trop [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Jun 7];17:46-7. Available from: http://www.jmedtropics.org/text.asp?2015/17/1/46/148703
Stomach cancer is a significant cause of public health concern owing to its associated morbidity, mortality, and impact on different dimensions of the health system and community. , Despite the gradual reduction in the incidence of stomach cancer in the last three-four decades, it is the second most common cause among all cancers associated deaths worldwide. , Studies and recent estimates have suggested a wide variability in the geographical distribution of the stomach cancer, with a maximum incidence and associated deaths in developing countries.  In addition, stomach cancer has been associated with significant impact on the quality-of-life among the survivors;  burden on the public health system;  direct and indirect medical expenses;  suicidal tendencies;  and poor 5-year survival rates. 
A wide gamut of socio-demographic, lifestyle-related, and health system-related parameters such as elderly;  male gender;  poor socio-economic class; , obesity;  family history;  chronic infection with Helicobacter pylori; , addiction to smoking and alcohol; ,, dietary pattern (viz. high consumption of preserved or salty foods or low consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables); ,, adoption of a Western lifestyle;  simultaneous presence of medical conditions (viz. stomach ulcers, acid reflux, stomach polyps);  chronic use of nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs;  poor awareness among community members;  and minimal number of health care establishments offering screening services for early diagnosis of stomach cancer; , have been attributed to the causation of the stomach cancer in heterogeneous settings.
Acknowledging the influence of stomach cancer on different domains, there is an urgent need for implementing a public health strategy to facilitate early diagnosis of the cancer.  However, for formulating this strategy, the prerequisite is to put in place a surveillance system to estimate the exact magnitude of the disease in the nation so that cost-effective interventions can be planned.  This exhaustive prevention and control strategy should include components to target all the identified risk factors such as creating awareness among community with the help of systematic family education programs to improve the gastric cancer screening and preventive behaviors, especially of the relatives of known cancer patients;  ensuring adequate pharmacological support to eradicate H. pylori infection;  improving nutrition and housing sanitation;  educating people to quit habit of smoking/alcoholism and modify dietary habits with the help of trained outreach workers; , roping in nongovernmental organizations;  ensuring adequate nutritional supplementation;  fostering international cooperation; , and extending social support/counseling services to reduce anxiety and thus improve the overall quality-of-life of the patients and the family members. 
In conclusion, a clear understanding about the potential etiological agents is desired so that optimal and cost-effective strategies can be planned and implemented to eventually reduce the magnitude of the stomach cancer worldwide.
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