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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 125038, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Gastric Cancer in the Young: Is It a Different Clinical Entity? A Retrospective Cohort Study

1Department of Surgery, Clinica Chirurgica, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Presidio Policlinico di Monserrato, Blocco G, SS 554, km 4,500, 09042 Monserrato, Italy
2Clinica Chirurgica, University of Cagliari, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Presidio Policlinico di Monserrato, Blocco G, SS 554 km 4, 500-09042 Monserrato, Italy

Received 18 November 2013; Revised 30 December 2013; Accepted 30 December 2013; Published 13 February 2014

Academic Editor: Antoni Castells

Copyright © 2014 Adolfo Pisanu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. The rate of gastric cancer in young patients has increased over the past few decades. The aim of this study was to search for independent risk factors related to patients of younger age. Methods. From January 1996 to December 2012, a series of 179 consecutive patients were admitted to our surgical department because of a gastric cancer. We carried out a retrospective cohort study in 20 patients younger than 50 and in 112 patients aged 50 and older treated by curative gastrectomy. The comparison involved the evaluation of patient and tumor characteristics. Results. Younger patients had significantly less comorbidities and a more favorable American Society of Anesthesiology score; they had significantly less preoperative weight loss and a significantly longer duration of symptoms; Helicobacter pylori infection and diffuse histological type were significantly associated with younger age. There was no statistically significant difference regarding overall and cancer-related 5-year survival; advanced cancer stage and diffuse histological type were the independent negative prognostic factors influencing cancer-related survival. Conclusions. We do not have sufficient evidence to consider gastric cancer in younger patients as a different clinical entity. Further studies are needed to understand carcinogenesis in younger patients and to improve gastric cancer classification.