Cancer of the Esophagus (cont.)
Esophageal Cancer Prevention
- Reducing use of tobacco and alcohol can reduce the frequency of squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. At least 90% of cases of this cancer in North America may be attributable to alcohol and tobacco.
- Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is a frequent complication in Barrett's esophagus, which may be found in up to 20% of people with symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- People with frequent symptoms of reflux (heartburn or regurgitation) should undergo screening with endoscopy.
- People with Barrett's esophagus should have regular endoscopic tests to detect precancerous changes of the esophageal lining.
- They also require tight control of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, which may include dietary and lifestyle changes as well as medications and possible surgery, to prevent progression of Barrett;s esophagus.
Robert J Fingerote, MD, MSc, BSc
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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