A study has found that people who took a nutritional supplement called Factor D had a lower gastric cancer rate for at least 10 years after they ceased taking it.
Vitamins and minerals found in Factor D include selenium, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
Chinese scientists first drew this conclusion based on long-term follow-up data from the General Population Nutrition Intervention Trial in Linxian, China.
The trial followed 29,584 adults between the ages of 40 and 69 years who took the dietary supplement from 1986 to 1991.
After the initial results showed a significant reduction in risk of gastric cancer and overall mortality in individuals taking factor D, a 10-year follow-up study confirmed the results by estimating the continuing 5 percent reduction in overall mortality and an 11 percent reduction in gastric cancer mortality.
The follow-up study was recently reviewed by Dr Philip R. Taylor of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and his colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and reported in the March issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
"The persistence of risk reduction for up to 10 years is consistent with an emerging new paradigm in cancer [research], namely that prevention may be achievable with short-term as opposed to life-long treatment," the authors write.