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The Increased Risk of Gastric Cancer in Asians

Dr. Joo Ha Hwang

Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide and is diagnosed in 27,000 Americans each year. In the United States, this burden falls disproportionately on ethnic minorities and immigrant communities, especially Asians. There exists no coherent national strategy for the early detection or risk attenuation of gastric cancer, even among identified high-risk groups. The under-recognition of gastric cancer risk among minority communities may be one of the most significant unaddressed healthcare disparities in the United States. There is a need for a national dialogue on strategies to decrease morbidity and mortality from gastric cancer in the United States, especially among the most vulnerable populations.

Dr. Joo Ha Hwang, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University and a board certified gastroenterologist. He specializes in the early detection of gastrointestinal malignancies, including esophageal cancer, gastric (stomach) cancer, pancreatic cancer, bile duct cancer, and colon cancer.  Dr. Hwang has both a clinical and research interest in improving the early detection of gastric cancer. His research group uses both epidemiologic and translational approaches to understand risk factors for gastric cancer and develop biomarkers to improve the early diagnosis of gastric cancers. He also directed public policy efforts to increase recognition of gastric cancer risk among high-risk populations and served as the Chairperson of the Asian American Stomach Cancer Disparity Task Force.