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Stomach cancer on the rise among young whites

Category: General Health

Young, white adults may want to consider an H. pylori test to see if they are infected with the bacteria, as a new study has found that stomach cancer is on the rise and the bacteria may be to blame.

Despite the fact that rates of most cancers are declining in the U.S., doctors have been puzzled over the rise in lower stomach cancer cases among young white men and women.

The main cause of this cancer is an infection caused by the bacteria, H. pylori. Researchers speculated that the bacteria may have changed slightly over the course of the past 50 years, leaving young whites more vulnerable.

The study showed that over the past 30 years, stomach cancer cases among white men and women increased annually by 2.7 percent, despite dropping in other demographics.

"That may sound like a small number, but over a number of years that percentage can grow just like compound interest on a loan," researcher Charles Rabkin told Businessweek Magazine.

Nearly 50 percent of the 21,130 individuals diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009 died from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

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