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...
Alternative Names Cancer - esophagus Prevention The following may help reduce your risk of squamous cell cancer of the esophagus: Avoid smoking Limit or do not drink alcoholic beverages People with symptoms of severe gastroesophageal reflux should seek medical attention. Screening with EGD and biopsy in people with Barrett's esophagus may lead to early detection and improved survival. People who are diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus should consider getting regular checkups for esophageal cancer. References Das A. Tumors of the esophagus. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease . 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 46. National Cancer Institute. Esophageal Cancer Treatment PDQ. Updated July 20, 2010. National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Inc. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology . Esophageal Cancer. V2. 2010. Accessed January 22, 2011.
Hairy leukoplakia; Smoker's keratosis
The goal of treatment is to get rid of the lesion. Removing the source of irritation is important and may cause the lesion to disappear.
Treat dental causes such as rough teeth, irregular denture surface, or fillings as soon as possible.
Stop smoking or using other tobacco products.
Do not drink alcohol.
You may need surgery to remove the lesion. The lesion is usually removed in your health care provider's office using local anesthesia.
Leukoplakia on the vulva is treated in the same way as oral lesions.
Leukoplakia is usually harmless. Lesions often clear up in a few weeks or months after the source of irritation is removed.
Oral hairy leukoplakia is often a sign of HIV infection and an increased likelihood of developing AIDS , but it is not harmful by itself.
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