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Premalignant lesions of the esophagogastric mucosa

Seminars in Oncology
Elsevier - WB Saunders
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2004.04.017
  • Biology
  • Medicine


Abstract Premalignant esophagogastric (EG) lesions develop against a background of chronic inflammation, called a premalignant condition. For esophageal squamous cell cancer, causal factors include alcohol, tobacco, hot beverages, oral consumption of opioids, and probably infectious agents. For adenocarcinoma in the Barrett’s esophagus (BE), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the principal causal factor. At the EG junction, adenocarcinoma arises either from the esophagus or from the proximal stomach (cardia). In the distal stomach, chronic gastritis with atrophy is the premalignant condition related to Helicobacter pylori infection. A high intake of salt and low intake of antioxidants also play a role. The histopathology of EG premalignant lesions is now included in the groups low-grade and high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (IEN) of the revised Vienna classification. Endoscopy is the gold standard for detection of the lesions at the preclinical stage and their appearance is described in subtypes of the type 0 of the Japanese classification, with a distinction between protruding and nonprotruding lesions. There is a priority for primary prevention of causal factors rather than for mass screening, which is justified only in Japan for the prevention of stomach cancer. The trend to early detection of premalignant lesions justifies the development of mini-invasive endoscopic procedures of treatment.

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