2014 Volume 90 Issue 7 Pages 251-258
In Japan, efforts have been directed toward improving the detection of early gastric cancer by double contrast radiography and endoscopy, since early cancer has a good prognosis, resulting in Japan having the world’s best diagnostic system for early gastric cancer. The 5-year survival rate of gastric cancer patients in Japan is much higher than in Western countries by the development of endoscopic treatment for early gastric cancer. In February 2013, Japanese national health insurance cover for H. pylori eradication therapy was expanded to patients with H. pylori-associated gastritis, a type of chronic gastritis. H. pylori-associated gastritis causes gastric and duodenal ulcers and gastric polyps, therefore, providing treatment for this gastritis is likely to substantially decrease the prevalence of both gastric and duodenal ulcer and gastric cancer. Patients with gastritis are tested for H. pylori infection and those who are positive receive eradication therapy followed by periodic endoscopic surveillance. If such an approach is pursued further in Japan, gastric cancer deaths will show a dramatic decline after 10–20 years.