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Increased risk of cancer at multiple sites after gastric surgery for peptic ulcer.
  1. C P Caygill,
  2. M J Hill,
  3. C N Hall,
  4. J S Kirkham,
  5. T C Northfield
  1. Norman Tanner Gastroenterology Unit, St James Hospital, Balham.


    Of 5018 patients who had undergone gastric surgery at St James Hospital, Balham, at least 25 years ago, death certificates have been received for 2768, whilst 1746 patients are still alive and are flagged (Office of Populations, Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) will notify us of their death and its cause) and only 504 could not be traced. Mortality from cancers of various organs has been determined using a 'years at risk' calculation in five year bands. There was no increase in mortality risk from any cancers during the first 15 postoperative years, but from 20 years after operation there was a significant excess risk not only of cancer of the stomach (4.5-fold), but also of the large bowel (1.6-fold), bronchus (3.9-fold), pancreas (4.0-fold), biliary tract (9.1-fold), oesophagus (2.3-fold), bladder (2.4-fold), breast (4.0-fold), and cancer of all sites (3.3-fold). These findings are consistent with the production in the operated-upon stomach of circulating carcinogens with a 20 year latency period.

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