Helicobacter pylori is one of the most common bacterial infections in human beings. However, studies have shown that in a minority of cases, this bacteria may result in several diseases including gastritis, stomach ulcers, and even gastric cancer. In Asia, where gastric cancer is more common than anywhere else, it’s important to understand what helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is and whether it’s worth getting screened and treated.
What Is It?
H. pylori is a bacterium that is well-adapted to survive in the human gut and in most cases does absolutely nothing. The consensus among experts is that about 50 percent of the world’s population is infected with H. pylori.
However, in some cases, the bacteria can lead to diseases like gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining) and stomach ulcers. Most importantly, helicobacter pylori has also been classified as a carcinogen for gastric cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer since 1995, and there is also evidence that H. pylori infection is a risk factor for gastric mucosa-associated lymphoma (a lymphatic cancer of the stomach).