X-ray screening seems to reduce gastric cancer mortality by half in a community-controlled trial in Costa Rica
Rosero Bixby, Luis
Sierra Ramos, Rafaela
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X-ray screening of gastric cancer is broadly used in Japan, although no controlled trial has proved its effectiveness. This study evaluates the impact of an X-ray screening demonstrative intervention to reduce gastric cancer mortality in a Costa Rican region. The evaluation follows a quasi-experimental, community-controlled design, with measures before and after. About 7000 individuals participated by invitation in the two-wave screening programme. X-ray screening was followed by videoendoscopy and gastric biopsies. Treatment included resection with or without lymph node dissection. Comparisons with two control groups estimate that gastric cancer mortality was halved in the period from 2 to 7 years after the first screening visit. Validity of X-rays as used in this intervention had 88% sensitivity, 80% specificity, and 3% predictive value for individuals with two screening visits. Incidence in the screened group increased up to four times. Case survival was 85% in the intervention group after 5 years, compared to 12% among the controls before the intervention and 35% among the controls in the same region after the intervention. Although X-ray mass screening seems able to reduce stomach cancer mortality, its high cost may be an obstacle for scaling up this intervention in a nonrich country like Costa Rica.
Artículo científico -- Universidad de Costa Rica, Instituto de Investigaciones en Salud. 2007
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