While gastric cancer is the most common malignancy in the Korean adult population, little is known of the efficacy of gastric cancer screening among Koreans. To study the efficacy of gastric cancer screening, this case-control study was conducted. From November 1996 to July 1998, 441 newly diagnosed gastric cancer (321 advanced, 120 early) patients were enrolled at the Department of General Surgery and 107 controls were enrolled at the inpatient Department of Family Medicine and Otolaryngology. History of gastric examinations and possible risk factors were collected through interview with a structured questionnaire. Patients with advanced gastric cancer were 61% less likely to have had a gastric examination than those with early gastric cancer (OR 0.39; 95%CI 0.23-0.65). Patients with advanced gastric cancer were 53% less likely to have had a gastric examination within two years of diagnosis (OR 0.47; 95%CI 0.23-0.98) and 69% less likely to have had a gastric examination within three years of diagnosis (OR 0.31; 95%CI 0.11-0.86). The data, showing a significant relationship between the history of gastric examinations and severity of gastric cancer, suggests that gastric cancer screening is effective in catching gastric cancer at early stages. It also suggests less than three years for screening interval
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