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Monday, 2-Dec-2013 01:07 Email | Share | Bookmark
Gerd And Esophageal Cancer: 5 Things You Should Know

Mindy Mordecai, ECAN's executive director, and Bruce Greenwald , a gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and ECAN's president, took me to task for downplaying the fact that GERD (and persistent heartburn) is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer and for seeming to suggest that people with GERD needn't worry about developing that cancer. That wasn't what I meant to suggest at all. But I can appreciate their concern that a person reading my blog might come away not understanding that GERD is nothing to be dismissed lightly. With help from Mordecai, I put together this list of five things you need to know about GERD and esophageal cancer. Here they are: Though esophageal cancer is rare, its incidence is rising (according to ECAN, its incidence has risen by 400 percent in the past 20 years), for reasons that are poorly understood. While most people with GERD will not develop esophageal cancer, GERD remains a major risk factor for that cancer. Common symptoms of GERD include hoarseness, cough, throat clearing, regurgitation, sore throat and wheezing. Controlling GERD symptoms with medications doesn't necessarily protect against esophageal cancer. And not everyone who has GERD experiences recognizable symptoms. According to the American Cancer Society, five-year survival rates for those diagnosed with esophageal cancer are quite low, ranging from 17 percent to 37 percent, depending on how localized the cancer is. The ACS notes that "Cancer of the esophagus usually is diagnosed at a late stage and therefore has a poor outlook for survival." There is debate in the medical community as to who should be screened for esophageal cancer. Talk with your doctor about your own risk and whether screening is appropriate. Here's more information about esophageal cancer. <br><br>i was reading this

No need for esophageal cancer screen despite heartburn

Among 70-year-old men with weekly heartburn, the yearly rate of esophageal cancer would be 61 per 100,000. That's still only a third of the rate of colon cancer in this age group, but high enough that the researchers said it might warrant screening. However, there is no strong research evidence that screening for esophageal cancer curbs deaths from the disease. "It's quite controversial whether screening is effective," Rubenstein said. "We just don't have good-quality evidence that it works." The rarity of esophageal cancer, even in people with GERD, is the key obstacle to conducting clinical trials to test whether screening cuts death rates from the cancer, Rubenstein said. A trial would have to include huge numbers of patients to show a statistically important effect. So why not undergo esophageal cancer screening just to be safe? Because like all screening tests, it carries risks, Rubenstein said. For instance, a false-positive result would create needless anxiety and be followed up with unneeded testing. And the screening endoscopy itself can have complications, such as perforation of the esophagus or reactions to the drugs used during the procedure. <br><br>click on this

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