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helicobacter pylori, breath test, breath test, screening, stomach cancer
Helicobacter pylori and its diagnosis: as easy as breathing!

helicobacter pylori, breath test, breath test, screening, stomach cancerL'Helicobacter pylori is a bacterium belonging to the bacilli family. Its discovery is not recent; it was in Turin that a university pathologist, Giulio Bizzozero, isolated the characteristic spiral-shaped bacteria in the stomachs of dogs in 1892. The discovery went almost unnoticed at the time; it had to wait almost a century before people returned to talk with some interest about theHelicobacter pylori, thanks to two Australian scientists, Robin Warren and Barry Marshall, who isolated the bacterium again in 1983, winning for their "rediscovery" the nobel prize in medicine 2005.

Helicobacter pylori: why is diagnosis important? 

Since 1989,Helicobacter pylori has been recognized as a major cause of stomach inflammation that can lead to the appearance of gastric and duodenal ulcers and a form of chronic gastritis that, today, is considered a precancerous lesion, as in a small but concrete percentage of cases it can give rise to stomach cancer.

The human body usually comes into contact with Helicobacter around 5 or 6 years of age; our immune system is unable to react against it, so the bacterium colonizes the gastric mucosa, where it usually remains for a very long time, often for a lifetime. It is not yet known how the bacterium is transmitted from human to human; it seems most likely that transmission occurs within family groups, especially between children and from parents to children. There is currently no vaccine against it.

What are the consequences of Helicobacter pylori infection?

The inflammation produced by the bacterium can be localized to certain areas of the stomach (especially in the antrum in the body of the stomach) or be widespread. Individuals with inflammation localized predominantly in the gastric antrum are more likely to develop a gastric ulcer, while those with a Inflammation localized mainly in the gastric body or spread to the whole stomach will more easily develop a chronic atrophic gastritis, a precancerous lesion that in its progression can result in stomach cancer. In fact, Helicobacter pylori was the first bacterium officially recognized as a cause of cancer, in just under 1% of the population infected by it. Helicobacter, in addition, can .helicobacter pylori, breath test, breath test, screening, stomach cancer, CDC be the cause of iron deficiency anemia.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, theH. pylori infects about 2/3 of the world's population.

Helicobacter infection can be completely asymptomatic, especially in children. In adults, it can result in gastric and duodenal ulcers, and stomach cancers, both adenocarcinomas and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
Signs of possible Helicobacter pylori infection are:
- onset of dull aching or burning pain between the sternum and umbilicus, which may last from a few minutes to several hours and may be relieved by the use of antacids (which, however, DO NOT cure the infection).
- Meteorism, abdominal bloating, postprandial nausea and/or vomiting
- chronic iron deficiency anemia

Helicobacter pylori: diagnosis and treatment

There are many ways to diagnose Helicobacter infection, but the quickest and absolutely noninvasive is the breath test or breath test. This is a test whose specificity and sensitivity are very high (both close to 100%), so it can diagnose virtually all cases of Helicobacter infection.

Once the bacterial infection is diagnosed, treatment is simple and consists of taking particular antibacterial agents.
Typically, therapy involves a few specific steps:
1) the initial intake of a combination of antibacterial agents, which has been shown to be effective in eradicating Helicobacter in a high percentage of cases;
2) the performance, after a while, of a new breath test, to verify that the infection has indeed been controlled;
3) if the test is positive, due to the fact that there are strains of Helicobacter that have developed resistance to the drugs used for the first line of therapy, a second level of therapy is administered, with different drugs.


Our screening test for Helicobacter pylori

Why take the risk. Helicobacter infection is widespread and can cause serious illnesses that, if they progress, can be life-threatening; moreover, if you carry the infection, you may pass it on to your loved ones.

For this reason, we decided to offer our patients a screening program with the breath test, or breath test, at an extremely competitive cost. The test is absolutely noninvasive, simple and quick to perform; and, if positive, it allows for the most appropriate therapy to be instituted quickly to eradicate the bacteria.

Book your breath test with our doctors now. With us, eradicating Helicobacter pylori is as easy as breathing!

Too young? Colon cancer in the under-50s


Although among individuals over the age of 50, the incidence and mortality of colorectal cancer have declined in recent years, thanks largely to screening programs, for reasons as yet unknown the incidence of the disease in the population under the age of 50 has increased dramatically. In the United States alone, as per epidemiological records, the incidence of colorectal cancer per 100,000 young adults has increased by 1.6 percent in women and 1.5 percent in men per year between 1992 and 2005; also in the U.S., the number of newly diagnosed cases per year in the under-50s reaches 13,000.

colon cancer, under 50


The dramatic finding is the high mortality observed in these patients, mainly due to a delay in diagnosis, for which both patients and physicians are responsible: the former because they often do not understand or underestimate the symptoms, and the latter because they tend not to correlate the symptoms with the pathology, in view of the age of the patients: the consequence is that a diagnostic error is recorded in 15-50% of cases, depending on the reports.

Doctors have always associated the occurrence of colon cancer at a young age with certain hereditary syndromes, such as Lynch syndrome. However, today we know that in about 75% of cases in these patients the cancer is not correlated with either a hereditary syndrome or any familiarity.

On the other hand, it is interesting to note that, in the U.S., the increased incidence over the past 30 years of colon cancer in the under-50s is accompanied, in the same group of patients, by a parallel increase in the incidence ofobesity and diabetes. In the same population, an increase in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and a decrease in the intake of milk - rich in calcium, which seems to be a protective factor against colon cancer- was observed during the same period. Other factors, both behavioral and dietary, have also been recorded to be associated with early onset of the disease, and among them are increased consumption of industrial meat preparations, alcohol abuse and poor exercise. However, there is still insufficient data available. Currently, research is underway on possible relationships between the disease and changes in gut flora and exposure to environmental toxins and drugs such as statins and antibiotics.


What to do, then? Colon cancer is a curable disease when diagnosed early, but the dramatic reduction in the average age of its onset should give both epidemiologists and us clinicians pause for thought. I personally believe that the maximum effort should be produced both in identifying risk factors in young adults and ineducating this population group, making them aware of possible early signs of the disease - changes in alvus, bleeding, changes in the appearance of stool... - and, above all, in expanding screening programs, including by implementing new molecular biology techniques, some of which we have discussed in previous articles.

Source: "Why Is Colorectal Cancer Targeting the Young?", by Cynthia J. Gordon

colon cancer, screening
A new test for colon cancer screening

A group of Canadian researchers recently reported that they have developed a test by which "molecular traces" of the presence of precancerous colon polyps can be found in the blood. If the results of the study are confirmed, a sensitive, specific, inexpensive and absolutely noninvasive screening test for colon cancer will be available to complement the more traditional and invasive colonoscopy.

It is thanks to the latter that today we are able to diagnose and treat colon cancer early, or even prevent it, by removing during the examination those precancerous lesions-the polyps-from whose evolution the cancer itself may originate.

However, colonoscopy is an expensive and unpleasant test for patients; preparation of the colon with powerful laxatives is required in the days before the examination, and the patient must undergo sedation or anesthesia in order to tolerate it. Current screening programs call for colonoscopy to be performed starting at age 50, or earlier if you have a family history of colon cancer; however, since it is a less than "pleasant" exam, there are many people who decide not to have it. That's why numerous research groups around the world are scrambling to develop less invasive screening tests.

Working along these lines, researchers from the BC Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia have found that there are differences between the blood of patients with precancerous polyps and that of healthy patients; and the blood chemistry test they developed is based on these findings.

Specifically, the results of a previous study were taken up, whereby differences in the Raman spectrum of blood from healthy patients compared with blood from colon cancer patients were demonstrated. The new research showed that spectroscopic differences also exist between the blood of patients with precancerous polyps compared with that of healthy patients, and that this can be applied in the clinic in screening programs.

It must be clear: no blood test will ever come to replace colonoscopy, which will still have to be carried out at the slightest suspicion of the presence of polyps; but it will certainly be easier to expand the pool of people undergoing screening programs. Today, colon cancer is a disease from which one can be cured: one only needs to identify and treat it in time.