Gerd And Esophageal Cancer: 5 Things You Should Know

Mindy Mordecai, ECAN's executive director, and Bruce Greenwald , a gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and ECAN's president, took me to task for downplaying the fact that GERD (and persistent heartburn) is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer and for seeming to suggest that people with GERD needn't worry about developing that cancer. That wasn't what I meant to suggest at all. But I can appreciate their concern that a person reading my blog might come away not understanding that GERD is nothing to be dismissed lightly. With help from Mordecai, I put together this list of five things you need to know about GERD and esophageal cancer. Here they are: 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. he has a good point