Is there a potential relationship between acid reflux and cancer?
The most significant complication of acid reflux disease is esophageal cancer. About 10 percent of patients with acid reflux develop Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the normal esophagus lining transforms to the normal stomach lining as a result of long-term acid exposure. Over time, approximately 10 percent of patients with Barrett's esophagus go on to develop esophageal cancer. Once Barrett's esophagus is diagnosed, patients are placed into a surveillance endoscopy program. By undergoing endoscopies on a regular basis, if Barrett's begins to progress to dysplasia, intervention can be performed through the endoscope to prevent the development of cancer.