Acid Reflux Disease and Cancer Risk
There has been a lot of discussion about the link between acid reflux disease or GERD and esophageal cancer. Now more detailed studies have linked the inflammation caused by acid reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, to cancerous changes. In according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, patients whose acid reflux caused erosive esophagitis where at an increased risk for esophageal cancer. Those whose acid reflux fell into the non-erosive category were not.
This research corroborates that it is very important to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment of your acid reflux. It can be next to impossible to know if your acid reflux is causing erosive issues without the proper evaluation. Some patients with long term issues with acid reflux disease may need to be more closely monitored for these changes in the esophagus through the use of an endoscopy. Biopsy of esophageal tissue during endoscopy can also be useful in detecting minute changes.
While it might be tempting to pop an OTC medication indefinitely this new information only reaffirms the importance of proper treatment for acid reflux disease. Work closely with your doctor to insure that your acid reflux disease is being treated properly to limit your risk for cancerous changes.