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Stomach Cancer: Helicobacter Pylori Is The Enemy Or Ally?
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Accused of promoting stomach cancer, but the bacterium could protect against some forms of the disease.

Helicobacter pylori

Until recently it seemed an established fact. The presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the stomach and thus favored the ulcer increased the risk that this degenerate and develop a tumor.

Yet ultimately it does not add up: the same bacterium could also protect against disease. But how? The explanation probably lies in the different part of the stomach affected by cancer in some way it prevents the bacteria from forming tumors of the stomach near the entrance, near the cardia, the valve that connects with the esophagus, while continuing to be an important risk factor for cancers that grow in other parts of the organ.

The bacteria normally resides in the human stomach, so that in the world, is found in two out of three people. Yet his presence was noted only in the eighties. Before then it was believed that the environment of the stomach was too acidic because of the germs could survive there. But helicobacter has found a way to survive here so hostile, producing a substance that reduces the acidity in the stomach, thus separating himself even to his host's immune response: the body's defense cells, white blood cells, in fact do not venture far.

The idea that they could not grow germs in the stomach was so strong among scholars for the first time that when they found the bacterium in gastric tissue from surgery or by gastroscopies is thought to errors or contamination. Only Australian researchers Barry Marshall and Robin Warren began to study the new creature, which was later christened with its present name (Helicobacter) for its spiral shape and its preferred location (pylori, pylorus, or the point of passage intestines from the stomach).

The two were so convinced of the role of bacteria in the development of gastric ulcer that, to prove Marshall is self-infected by drinking the broth of a bacterial culture, became ill with gastritis, ulcers formed and isolated the bacteria recovered with therapy antibiotic. His persistence was rewarded in 2005 by the Nobel Prize for medicine.

Once the association between infection and the ulcer, but had to figure out if it was true the next step, namely, that the bacteria involved in the development of cancer. The guilty verdict was announced in 1994, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has included it among the carcinogenic factors. But, if even then the data on the relationship of cause and effect relationship between infection and cancer were conflicting, the most recent results make the indictment Helicobacter partially wrong or too simplistic, because many people are living with the bacteria without developing any disease.Accused of promoting stomach cancer, but the bacterium could protect against some forms of the disease.

Helicobacter pylori

Until recently it seemed an established fact. The presence of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori in the stomach and thus favored the ulcer increased the risk that this degenerate and develop a tumor.

Yet ultimately does not add up: the same bacterium could also protect against disease. But how? The explanation probably lies in the different part of the stomach affected by cancer in some way it prevents the bacteria from forming tumors of the stomach near the entrance, near the cardia, the valve that connects with the esophagus, while continuing to be an important risk factor for cancers that grow in other parts of the organ.

The bacteria normally resides in the human stomach, so that in the world, is found in two out of three people. Yet his presence was noted only in the eighties. Before then it was believed that the environment of the stomach was too acidic because of the germs could survive there. But helicobacter has found a way to survive here so hostile, producing a substance that reduces the acidity in the stomach, thus separating himself even to his host's immune response: the body's defense cells, white blood cells, in fact do not venture far.

The idea that they could not grow germs in the stomach was so strong among scholars for the first time that when they found the bacterium in gastric tissue from surgery or by gastroscopies is thought to errors or contamination. Only Australian researchers Barry Marshall and Robin Warren began to study the new creature, which was later christened with its present name (Helicobacter) for its spiral shape and its preferred location (pylori, pylorus, or the point of passage intestines from the stomach).

The two were so convinced of the role of bacteria in the development of gastric ulcer that, to prove Marshall is self-infected by drinking the broth of a bacterial culture, became ill with gastritis, ulcers formed and isolated the bacteria recovered with therapy antibiotic. His persistence was rewarded in 2005 by the Nobel Prize for medicine.

Once the association between infection and the ulcer, but had to figure out if it was true the next step, namely, that the bacteria involved in the development of cancer. The guilty verdict was announced in 1994, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has included it among the carcinogenic factors. But, if even then the data on the relationship of cause and effect relationship between infection and cancer were conflicting, the most recent results make the indictment Helicobacter partially wrong or too simplistic, because many people are living with the bacteria without developing any disease.


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