GERD and esophageal cancer: 5 things you should know
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- Though esophageal cancer is rare, its incidence is rising (according to ECAN, its incidence has risen by 400 percent in the past 20 years), for reasons that are poorly understood.
- While most people with GERD will not develop esophageal cancer, GERD remains a major risk factor for that cancer.
- Common symptoms of GERD include hoarseness, cough, throat clearing, regurgitation, sore throat and wheezing. Controlling GERD symptoms with medications doesn't necessarily protect against esophageal cancer. And not everyone who has GERD experiences recognizable symptoms.
- According to the American Cancer Society, five-year survival rates for those diagnosed with esophageal cancer are quite low, ranging from 17 percent to 37 percent, depending on how localized the cancer is. The ACS notes that "Cancer of the esophagus usually is diagnosed at a late stage and therefore has a poor outlook for survival."
- There is debate in the medical community as to who should be screened for esophageal cancer. Talk with your doctor about your own risk and whether screening is appropriate.
Jennifer LaRue Huget
| December 20, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Cancer, Prevention, digestive tract health | Tags: Cancer
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