Barrett's esophagus can result from ongoing heartburn, which allows a constant splashing of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Left untreated, the condition can progress to esophagus cancer. Now, a new method, called cryoablation therapy, is available to freeze damaged cells in the esophagus, preventing them from turning cancerous.
Gastroenterologists at the University of Southwestern Medical Center, and a few other sites around the country, are using a special catheter and liquid nitrogen to freeze the damaged tissue in the superficial lining of the esophagus. The treated tissue eventually falls off, allowing normal cells to grow and replace the damaged cells in about six to eight weeks. This is the same technology that has been in place and used by dermatologists for years to treat skin irregularities.
Using this method of treatment for Barrett's has recently been approved by the FDA. Prior to this approval, typical treatment for Barrett's may have included scra...
I was a long-time sufferer with heartburn and was diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus a few years ago. While my symptoms have been under control, I worry about esophageal cancer. Do any drugs prevent the development of esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett's esophagus?
It has long been felt that medications could not prevent the progression of Barrett's esophagus to cancer. Initial reports of a current study in progress in the United Kingdom is looking at whether treatment with aspirin and Nexium can stop Barrett's from progressing to cancer. The study has been ongoing since 2005, and while it is unclear as of yet as to whether the drug combination is efficacious, what has come out is that the use of aspirin in patients with Barrett's esophagus is safe and well tolerated. While some patients have experienced increased incidences of heartburn, requiring an increased dosage of Nexium, few have dropped out of the study. This was an important step, as there were fea...
Definition Esophageal cancer is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the esophagus, the muscular tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach. See also: Barrett's esophagus Alternative Names Cancer - esophagus Causes, incidence, and risk factors Esophageal cancer is not very common in the United States. It occurs most often in men over 50 years old. Two main types of esophageal cancer exist: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. These two types look different from each other under the microscope. Squamous cell esophageal cancer is linked to smoking and alcohol consumption . Barrett's esophagus , a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), increases the risk for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. This is the more common type of esophageal cancer. Other risk factors for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus include: Male gender Obesity Smoking
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