Clinical vignette: A 38-year-old man consults you in the GI clinic because of frequent episodes of epigastric pain, nausea, and tiredness. His blood count shows signs of mild iron deficiency anemia. Upper GI endoscopy was normal, but antral and corpus biopsy specimens show evidence of gastric atrophy and Helicobacter pylori infection. Colonoscopy and capsule endoscopy showed no evidence of lesions in the large or small bowel. He receives a standard one-week course eradication therapy consisting of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), amoxicillin, and clarithromycin. His symptoms improve, but his infection persists and he remains mildly anemic. He asks you whether the infection must be eradicated, as he read on the Internet that it can cause stomach cancer. He is also concerned about the anemia.
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