Department of Gastroenterology, Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre, West Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia.
It has been suggested that there is an increased risk of gastric cancer following partial gastrectomy. This question has not been studied in an Australian population.
The records of a total of 569 patients who had a partial gastrectomy for peptic ulcer disease at Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg, between 1957 and 1976 were reviewed. All were followed to date of death or 31 December 1996. The expected rate of gastric cancer for this population was estimated from published Australian age-and sex-specific gastric cancer mortality rates over this period, and a standardized incidence ratio was calculated.
The mean age at surgery was 53.5 years (range 27-83 years). There were 547 male (96.4%) and 22 female (3.6%) patients. Five hundred and seven (83.5%) had a Billroth II procedure. Thirty-eight patients (6.3%) were lost to follow up and were not included in the analysis. From the records of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, it was established that 125 (20.6%) were alive in December 1996, a mean survival after surgery of 18.8 years. The mean documented duration of follow up was 17.3 years (range 1-41 years). Nine patients developed cancer in the gastric remnant. The expected number of cancers in this population was 6.5. Assuming all survivors were free of gastric cancer, the standardized incidence ratio was 1.39 (95% confidence intervals 0.64-2.65, P=0.313).
The risk of gastric cancer was not increased after partial gastrectomy in this Australian population.