Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) the gastric pathogen, affects nearly half of the population globally. Chronic inflammation caused by H. pylori infection significantly raises the risk of developing gastric ulcer disease, duodenal ulcer disease, and gastric cancer. It is the major risk factor for gastric cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related death across the world.
The fact that H. pylori remain in the gastric environment throughout the host’s lifetime suggests that the immune system of the host is unable to eradicate this bacterium.
Although having H. pylori does not guarantee that you will develop gastric cancer, it does raise your risk. The purpose of this article is to study the effects of H. pylori and its link with cancer.
What are H. pylori?
- pylori is a bacteria that affects the stomach and upper small intestine. They are the most common cause of peptic ulcers and can result in stomach lining redness or inflammation.
- pylori spread by burrowing into the stomach lining. Urease, an enzyme that the bacteria secrete to produce ammonia, an acid that neutralizes stomach acids, protects the bacteria from the harsh environment of the stomach. Additionally, they possess numerous mechanisms that enable them to evade immune system cells’ bacterial attacks.
Who gets H. pylori?
Studies reported that the infection rate in the United States ranges from 30 to 40 percent, with Asian and Hispanic populations experiencing higher rates.
Due to a variety of factors, including contaminated water and high population densities, developing nations frequently serve as breeding grounds for the bacteria. People who have a lot of siblings and extended families who live together or close by are more likely to get infected and get infected again.
The prevalence of H. pylori is directly correlated with the number of households living together. It is more prevalent in families with a larger number of members living together in the United States. If one person is treated for H. pylori, it is likely that other family members will also contract the infection. It is a condition that can be passed on to you from other people.
Research shows H. pylori are for the most part spread at an early age, regularly from mouth-to-mouth transmission or from mother to kid, yet its side effects may not surface until some other time.
What’s the link between H. pylori and stomach cancer?
The bacterium H. pylori are widespread with numerous strains, each of which has distinct effects on the stomach. The majority of people never get sick or have side effects.
- pylori is the main cause of stomach ulcers. Additionally, some strains can make you more likely to get stomach cancer.
When you have H. pylori, you get an infection that makes your body swell, which leads to healing and more swelling. According to the National Cancer Institute, this cycle of constant cell regeneration can eventually lead to mistakes that cause cancer.
Two types of stomach cancer have been linked to H. pylori infections:
- Gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma, is a very slow-growing, rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that develops outside the lymph nodes.
- Non-cardia gastric adenocarcinoma is the most common type of stomach cancer that affects the lower portions of the stomach.
How to detect whether you have H. pylori infection?
The symptoms of H. pylori disease incorporate persistent dyspepsia – or heartburn – that might be joined by stomach torment, bulging, and the inclination to burp.
Dyspepsia should not be confused with heartburn, which causes the sensation that stomach acid and food are returning to the esophagus. This causes uneasiness or agony in the chest.
Because H. pylori make the stomach less able to produce acid so it can survive, people with H. pylori actually have less acid reflux and heartburn. Heartburn is probably not caused by an H. pylori infection.
For your doctor to make a correct diagnosis, it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms, where they are occurring, and how they feel so that they can be managed with medications.
Know the symptoms of stomach cancer
Stomach cancer is detected only in later stages since symptoms don’t show up until the illness is progressed.
There are no early stomach cancer symptoms. A patient has a better chance of successfully treating the disease if they pay close attention to their body and visit their doctor as soon as they begin to experience symptoms.
Symptoms of stomach cancer include:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- A feeling of fullness despite consuming less food
- Bloating or abdominal swelling
- Ulcer-like symptoms
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Black or stools with blood
Having one or more of the above-listed symptoms does not mean you have cancer. Talk to your doctor, however, if any of them persist for more than two weeks. H. pylori can definitely cause problems down the road. The earlier the detection, the easier the treatment. Connect with Microgen Health and get yourself tested if you have a recurrent H. pylori infection.