Reflux Rules Barrett’s & Esophageal Cancer
Even though you may control the symptoms of reflux, you may be disguising the development of a more serious condition such as Barrett’s Esophagus or esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer occurs in approximately 16,000 plus new patients, every year. Previously thought to be due to alcohol or tobacco use, we now know that most of the cases now-a-days, are due to chronic reflux disease. Approximately 15,000 people per year will die of this disease, and the reason they will die is because their symptoms of esophageal cancer are often disguised until the very last moment when the esophagus is obstructed.
When this occurs, it’s often too late for adequate treatment and unfortunately, people cannot survive the diagnosis of the disease. If we can succeed in controlling the reflux disease, there are studies that now show that with devices such as the Stretta Procedure, which controls reflux, or the surgical procedure known as Nissen fundoplication, there can be actual reversal of the reflux related complications such as Barrett’s Esophagus and perhaps even reduction in the incidence of adenocarcinoma or esophageal cancer, long term. This is the importance of proper diagnosis and treatment directed towards fixing the defect in the lower esophageal sphincter.