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Oral Rinse Shows Promise in Early Gastric Cancer Diagnosis

Daniel Kim Views  

Research findings that mouthwash can lead to early diagnosis of gastric cancer were announced at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2024.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), gastric cancer is not easily diagnosed until the tumor has grown large enough or has metastasized to other organs.

Most gastric cancer patients do not complain of symptoms before diagnosis. However, some may experience loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain or discomfort, feeling full despite eating little, heartburn or indigestion, nausea and vomiting, abdominal bloating, bloody stools, anemia, jaundice (when metastasized to the liver), etc..

The 5-year survival rate following treatment is 75% when the cancer is confined to the stomach. However, if the tumor starts to spread from the stomach, the 5-year survival rate drops to 35%. If the gastric cancer metastasizes to other organs, the 5-year survival rate plummets to 7%.

Currently, gastric cancer therapy includes radiation therapy, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, surgery, and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC), with patients often receiving more than one type of treatment.

Since cancer takes years to develop, early diagnosis is crucial for treatment and prognosis.

A recent research team analyzed the bacteria in the bodies of 30 gastric cancer patients, 30 patients with gastric precancerous conditions, and 38 healthy individuals in a control group.

The research team reported no significant difference in the microbiome of gastric cancer patients and those with precancerous conditions. However, there was a clear difference in the microbiome of the healthy control group.

They speculated that these changes in the microbiome could occur before gastric cancer progresses and that oral bacteria could serve as a biomarker for assessing gastric cancer risk.

Experts have noted that there are no sensitive techniques for diagnosing gastric cancer or precancerous gastric lesions other than endoscopy. Thus, the concept of diagnosing gastric cancer using a simple, non-invasive oral rinse seems to intrigue them.

They projected that future research could help them understand the bacteria that contribute to gastric cancer in depth. Furthermore, they added that if these bacteria can be detected noninvasively, widespread screening for gastric cancer could be implemented to predict the risk of gastric cancer early.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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