Barrett's Esophagus Disease and Treatment
For more than 3 million people in the U.S. chronic heartburn has turned into Barrett's Esophagus Disease, a pre-cancerous condition. Barrett's disease occurs when the esophagus is chronically exposed to gastric contents of the stomach caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD. With prolonged acid exposure, normal cells in the esophagus can undergo a genetic change and are then vulnerable to further changes that can lead to cancer. Esophageal cancer is presently the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States.
Deaconess offers an outpatient treatment that destroys pre-cancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus. Our board certified GI doctors, Mia Hindi, MD and Bruce Schneider, MD perform this procedure. This service uses an ablation catheter (the HALO system) to remove the diseased esophagus. The procedure is done without incisions and takes less than 30 minutes on average.
The risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. Cancer of the esophagus is often incurable because the disease is discovered in advanced stages. It beings as GERD, which can cause Barrett's which leads to esophageal cancer. Many patients think they are just experiencing heartburn, but it can be a much more serious condition. That's why early detection and treatment is key to preventing cancer.
If you are at risk, talk to your doctor about a referral today.