Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Early detection of gastric cancer.

British Medical Journal 1990; 301 doi: (Published 15 September 1990) Cite this as: British Medical Journal 1990;301:513
  1. M T Hallissey,
  2. W H Allum,
  3. A J Jewkes,
  4. D J Ellis,
  5. J W Fielding
  1. Department of Surgery, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham.


    OBJECTIVE--To see whether investigation of dyspeptic patients aged over 40 after their first consultation with the general practitioner would increase the proportions with early and operable gastric cancers. DESIGN--Prospective study of gastric cancer in dyspeptic patients aged over 40 from a defined population. SETTING--10 General practices (six in central Birmingham, four in Sandwell); the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham; and Sandwell District General Hospital. PATIENTS--2659 Patients aged 40 or over referred with dyspepsia. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE--Increase in early and operable gastric cancers detected in middle aged patients with dyspepsia. RESULTS--Disease was identified in 1992 patients (75%). Fifty seven were found to have gastric cancer, 36 being treated by potentially curative resection, including 15 with early cancer. CONCLUSIONS--The investigation of dyspeptic patients over 40 at first attendance can increase the proportion of early gastric cancers detected to 26% and the proportion of operable cases to 63%. Such a policy has the potential to reduce mortality from gastric cancer in the population.