Sign this petition! ‘President Obama: Proclaim April as ‘Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month’ throughout the USA!’

April 22, 2014

Would you like the month of April nationally recognized as Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month? Then join us by signing the petition to President Barack Obama!

We started the petition “President of the United States: Proclaim the month of April as “Esophageal Cancer Awareness” throughout the USA” and we need your help to get it off the ground.

Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Click here!

Here’s why it’s important:

Esophageal cancer adenocarcinoma (EAC) has increased over 600% in the past decades, making it the fastest growing cancer in the United States

Many do not realize that among other risk factors, obesity, chronic heartburn or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and smoking can lead to esophageal damage and cancer.

While it is currently only the 18th most common cancer, Stage IV EAC only has a 3% survival rate.

Esophageal cancer shows low survival rates even in early stages: 21%-39%.

Symptoms often arise too late, once the cancer has spread and becomes difficult if not impossible to treat, thus making esophageal adenocarcinoma a highly lethal tumor.

In 2013, there were an estimated 17,990 new diagnoses of esophageal cancer & 15,210 deaths in the U.S.

Despite its rapid increase and poor prognosis, esophageal cancer research receives very little private or government funding. In fact, the National Cancer Institute decreased its investment in research of esophageal cancer by 15% in 2012; esophageal cancer research receives a mere $28.0 million out of NCI’s total $5.07 billion budget; that’s approximately half of one percent.

However, approximately $1.3 billion dollars is spent on esophageal cancer treatment each year in the U.S.

You can sign this life-saving petition right now! Click here!

 

APRIL is esophageal cancer awareness month every day is esophageal cancer awareness day periwinkle allperiwinkleverything health


Did you miss our #EsophagealCancer Twitter Chat?

April 17, 2014

On Tuesday, April 8th, The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation teamed up with medical experts from around the web to answer your important questions regarding prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of esophageal cancer.  If you missed the chat, not to worry!  We’ve put together the complete transcript from the #EsophagealCancer Twitter chat.

This was the very first chat dedicated to #EsophagealCancer and we are very excited to share the important information that was discussed that day!  We will be hosting more Twitter Chats dedicated to esophageal cancer in the future, so if there is a question that was not answered, please contact us and let us know what you want answered at the next #EsophagealCancer Twitter Chat!

Question 1:

@SalgiFoundation: Q1. Explain the differences between esophageal adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. #EsophagealCancer

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A1. Beside microscopic differences, adeno tends to be low down near the stomach while squamous arises in the upper portions #EsophagealCancer

@RoswellPark: A1. Squamous often occurs w/ irritation/ingestion of alcohol, tobacco, irritating foods & environmental factors #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A1. Adeno EsophagealCancer often occurs @ the bottom of esoph, caused by GERD. Squamous mid & top of esoph. Caused by smoking & alcohol.

@UCD_ChestHealth: A1. Squamous #EsophagealCancer can also be caused by chronic irritation problems like Achalasia and caustic injury

@UCD_ChestHealth: A1. Consumption of foods high in nitrates can also cause Squamous #EsophagealCancer

@RefluxMD: A1. Our Scientific Director, Dr. Para Chandrasoma, wrote a great article on this subject – refluxmd.com/learn/resource #EsophagealCancer

Question 2:

@SalgiFoundation: Q2. What are the risk factors associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma? #EsophagealCancer

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A2. Besides the other factors, the chronic irritation/changes of stomach juices cause adenocarcinomas over time #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A2. Acid reflux or GERD is a big risk factor for adenocarcinoma #EsophagealCancer. Causes Barrett’s which can degenerate into cancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A2. Yes, food sits in esoph, and irritates lining > RT : Achalasia is a swallowing disorder? #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A2. Obesity also is a risk factor for Adeno #EsophagealCancer, mainly because obesity can lead to acid reflux

@UCD_ChestHealth: A2. Yes Barrett’s > low grade dysplasia > high grade > adenocarcinoma MT: Barrett’s esophagus is a precancerous condition? #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A2. Yes, leads to acid reflux > injury > Barrett’s RT : So, would a hiatal (sp?) hernia be a risk factor for #EsophagealCancer?

@AmerGastroAssn: A2. Overall diet, rather than specific foods, affect risk for #EsophagealCancer. More info: ow.ly/vzruO

@DanaFarber: A2.  Obesity, Barrett’s esophagus, smoking, and being male are all risk factors for #EsophagealCancer. bit.ly/1mUwWHf

@BrendonStilesMD: A2. Adeno. Some links with reflux disease and obesity. Probably some genetic factors that need to be better explored. #EsophagealCancer

@Aiims1742: A2. Risk factors include Barrett esophagus (most important) high BMI, alcohol smoking @SalgiFoundation#EsophagealCancer

Question 3:

@SalgiFoundation: Q3. What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and how is it related to esophageal cancer#EsophagealCancer

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A3. GERD is symptoms (heartburn) or damage caused by stomach juice spending too much time in the esophagus. #EsophagealCancer

@RoswellPark: A3. Over time, the acid juices can burn to produce a precancerous (Barrett’s) change or simply induce cancers directly. #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A3. GERD = gastroesophageal reflux disease, or spilling of acid from stomach to esoph. This leads > Barrett’s, which can cause #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A3. If one has GERD symptoms that do no respond to PPI after 4-8 weeks, they should get screening endoscopy per ACP. #EsophagealCancer

@AmerGastroAssn: A3. GERD = heartburn occurring when acid or other stomach contents back up in the esophagus. #EsophagealCancer ow.ly/vzsdO

@DanaFarberA3. GERD is backward flow of stomach acid contents into the esophagus – another risk factor for #EsophagealCancer. bit.ly/1mUwWHf

@BrendonStilesMD: A3. Reflux leads to chronic inflammation and injury, which may initiate/promote cancer growth. #EsophagealCancer

@BrendonStilesMD: A3. Important for people with GERD to be evaluated by GI doctors & considered for endoscopy, particularly with persistent sxs #EsophagealCancer

@BrendonStilesMD: A3. Q: @LungCancerFaces:  Do meds such as PPIs really lessen risk, or just treat symptoms? #EsophagealCancer

@BrendonStilesMD: A3. @SalgiFoundation @LungCancerFaces:  #EsophagealCancer Wish we knew. Some thought PPIs may even increase risk or mask symptoms.

Question 4:

@SalgiFoundation: Q4. Define Barrett’s Esophagus and explain how it is diagnosed. #EsophagealCancer

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A4. Barretts is damaged esophagus lining that gets recovered w/ a surface similar to the stomach #EsophagealCancer

@RoswellPark: A4. Treatment options for Barretts: goo.gl/ssF1Ft   #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A4: Barrett’s columnar epithelium w/ gobletcells (?) the esoph tries to look like intestine to protect itself from acid #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A4. Risk for adeno #EsophagealCancer is increased 30-125 fold for patients with Barrett’s metaplasia

@DanaFarber: A4. Barrett’s esophagus is a pre-cancerous or, in some cases, early form of #EsophagealCancer. bit.ly/1mUwWHf

@DanaFarberA4. Barrett’s esophagus often due to chronic inflamm from acid reflux & appears as abnormal cells lining the esophagus. #EsophagealCancer

@DanaFarberA4. If diagnosed, it’s important to treat Barrett’s esophagus to prevent the development of #EsophagealCancer.

@DanaFarberA4. Depending on form Barrett’s esophagus treatment may include medication, lifestyle changes, or radiofrequency ablation #EsophagealCancer

@DanaFarberA4. Q: @LungCancerFaces: @DanaFarber What is radiofrequency ablation?

@DanaFarber: A4. @LungCancerFaces: Great question! It’s a procedure that uses radio waves to heat and destroy abnormal cells.

@RefluxMD: A4. Quick overview by Dr. Chandrasoma of Barrett’s and diagnosis: refluxmd.com/connect/physic  #EsophagealCancer

@RefluxMD: A4. FYI – “If you’ve been diagnosed with Barrett’s” refluxmd.com/learn/resource  #EsophagealCancer

@BrendonStilesMD: A4. Barretts has to be diagnosed by endoscopic biopsy. Need to r/o dysplasia and cancer. Surveillance.

@Aiims1742: A4. Barrett esophagus is columnar epithelium with goblet cells within the tubular esophagus (sorry -GI Pathologist lingo) #EsophagealCancer

@Aiims1742: A4. Barrett esophagus shares many genetic alterations with esophageal cancer for example see Streppel, Maitra papers #EsophagealCancer

@Aiims1742: A4. GI Pathologists at MDAnderson and other places are looking for DYSPLASIA in biopsies of Barrett esophagus #EsophagealCancer

@Aiims1742: A4. patients with low grade Barrett dysplasia merit follow up, high grade need very close follow up or local ablation. #EsophagealCancer

Question 5:

@SalgiFoundation: Q5. Currently there are no standard/routine screening tests for EC, what are options to detect EC in early stages? #EsophagealCancer

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A5. Best option to detect EAC while curable/superficial is to find it w/ endoscopy. More on EUS: goo.gl/U6tI18#EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A5. Everyone w/ Barrett’s should be in an endoscopic surveillance program ever 3 years

@UCD_ChestHealth: A5. Everyone with Barrett’s metaplasia should be in an endoscopic surveillance program at least every three years #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A5. Everyone should get a screening endoscopy if they have heartburn [GERD] + additional symptoms (e.g. trble swallowing) #EsophagealCancer

@UCD_ChestHealth: A5. Men over 50 with chronic GERD and additional risk factors should get screening endoscopy #EsophagealCancer

@LungCancerFaces: A5. Endoscopy is a breeze. Much easier than a colonoscopy. Don’t hesitate to do it if necessary. #EsophagealCancer

@AmerGastroAssn: A5. Researchers have developed markers to identify patients with BE at greatest risk for developing #EsophagealCancer http://agajournals.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/which-patients-with-barretts-esophagus-will-develop-esophageal-cancer/ 

@Aiims1742: A5. Most #EsophagealCancer  (adenocarcinoma) present with advanced dz while high grade Barrett or early EC do very well 

Question 6:

@SalgiFoundation: Q6. What are some warning signs associated with esophageal cancer#EsophagealCancer 

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A6. Difficulty with food because it “sticks” or causes pain during swallowing are the main symptoms of #EsophagealCancer 

@RoswellPark: A6. Unfortunately any symptom or sign means that the tumor has gotten quite large and is harder to treat. #EsophagealCancer 

@UCD_ChestHealth: A6. Difficulty swallowing. If your heart burn goes away for no reason, it may be a sign that Barrett’s has developed. #EsophagealCancer 

@UCD_ChestHealth: A6. Also black tarry stools, vomiting blood. Chronic anemia #EsophagealCancer 

@DanaFarberA6. The early stages of #EsophagealCancer  typically have no symptoms. As the disease advances, symptoms start to become more noticeable.

@DanaFarber: A6. Advanced #EsophagealCancer  symptoms include painful/difficult swallowing, weight loss, & regurgitation of food. bit.ly/1mUwWHf

@RefluxMD: A6. We recently spoke with a stage 4 cancer patient that only had uncontrolled burping after meals as a symptom. #EsophagealCancer 

@BrendonStilesMD: A6. Patients and physicians can’t ignore heartburn or difficulty swallowing. Low threshold for endoscopy.

Question 7:

@SalgiFoundation: Q7. What are methods of detection and diagnosis for esophageal cancer? #EsophagealCancer 

Answers:

@RoswellPark: A7. Tests like CT/PET Scans, ultrasound (on the endoscope), help to characterize the tumor & measure its spread #EsophagealCancer 

@UCD_ChestHealth: A7. Endoscopic screening and early detection can save lives bit.ly/YRUIDM#EsophagealCancer 

@UCD_ChestHealth: A7. Endoscopy goal standard for evaluation of potential #EsophagealCancer 

@AmerGastroAssn: A7. Patient brochure offers tips for preparing for an upper GI endoscopy: ow.ly/vzx6U#EsophagealCancer 

@DanaFarber: A7. Tests typically include chest X-rays, barium swallow, esophagoscopy, endoscopy, blood chemistry studies, CBC, or EUS. #EsophagealCancer 

@BrendonStilesMD: A7. EGD is a lot easier than colonoscopy. (And less messy and far to go!). More of an effort to find early.

@BrendonStilesMD: A7. Endoscopic biopsy. If cancer need endoscopic ultrasound to determine depth and bx nodes, CT, and PET.

Question 8:

@SalgiFoundation: Q8. When diagnosed with esophageal cancer what are available treatment options? #EsophagealCancer 

@SalgiFoundation: Q10. Stage IV survival rate is only 3%. What can be done to increase chances of survival? #EsophagealCancer 


Obesity rate in children drops almost in half, report shows.

March 7, 2014

The Journal of American Medical Association recently reported that there has been a substantial decline in the obesity rate among children in the United States.  Obesity in children ages 2-5 dropped almost in half, 43% to be exact, in the past decade.

While there are no direct causes, researchers believe that the major decrease can be attributed to a number of different reasons.  From better choices at fast food restaurants to parents taking a more active role in what their children are consuming, the obesity rate in this group of children from 2-5 is at 8.4%.  That is quite a difference from the previous obesity rate of 13.9% in 2003-2004.

obese,children,obesity,overweight,health,healthy,weightloss,babies,kids,obese

Photo via sxc.hu

This is especially beneficial in regards to a lowered risk of esophageal cancer.  A study conducted in 2013 linked overweight and obese adolescents to “a more than two-fold increased risk of developing esophageal cancer later in life,”  Study author Dr. Zohar Levi of the Rabin Medical Center in Israel suggested that this risk could possibly be attributed to reoccurring “reflux that they have throughout their life.”

The New York Times reported the following:

“This is the first time we’ve seen any indication of any significant decrease in any group,” said Cynthia L. Ogden, a researcher for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the lead author of the report, which will be published in JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association, on Wednesday. “It was exciting.”

However, a third of US children and teens are still considered obese or overweight.  Odgen told the New York Times “Still, the lower obesity rates in the very young bode well for the future.”

For more information, please visit the following sources:

CNN.com 
BBC.com 
NYTimes.com 
AP.org
Health.com

Eat your vegetables! Diet high in animal-based proteins linked to cancer, study shows.

March 5, 2014

Do you remember growing up and being told to “eat your vegetables”?  Well, new research suggests that those “veggie pushers” were onto something.  The Washington Post reports that researchers from the United States and Italy found that those whose diet was high in animal protein were four times more likely to die of cancer.  The same does not seem to show for plant-based protein sources.

Valter Longo, a University of Southern California gerontology professor and director of the school’s Longevity Institute believes that the majority of Americans are eating too much protein and are not choosing the right kind of protein.  This doesn’t come as a surprise since diets such as Atkins or Palseo, which encourage a protein rich diet have become very popular.  On the other hand, many plant-based protein sources contain some, but not all, essential amino acids.  Longo suggests maintaining a diet which consists of more plant-based proteins and to lower the daily intake of “animal-derived proteins.”

The growth hormone IGF-I has been shown to encourage the growth of both healthy and cancer cells.  This hormone is increased through the intake of protein.  Unfortunately, IGF-I levels typically decline after the age of 65 and attributes to the loss of muscle tone.  Since IGF-I is also responsible for the growth of healthy cells, a decrease in protein can be dangerous for those over 65.

Here are a list of plant-based foods that are high in protein:

Legumes (Soybeans, lentils, lupins, white beans, split peas, pintos, kidneys, black beans, navy beans and chickpeas.)

Leafy green vegetables (Bok choy, Romaine lettuce, escarole, kale and spinach.)

Root vegetables (Potato, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots and beets.)

Other vegetables (Peas, broccoli, asparagus, butternut squash, cauliflower.)

Since this post is intended for informational purposes only, the best way to maintain a well-balanced diet is to speak to a physician or a nutritionist.

 

For more information, please visit our sources: 

Washington Post
Forbes
Ehow.com
Foodmatters.tv 

Study links abdominal fat (visceral) to increased risk of Barrett’s esophagus

February 14, 2014

A recent study shows that carrying more weight in the midsection may increase one’s risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer.

Health.Harvard.edu

Barrett’s esophagus is “a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach) is damaged by stomach acid and changed to a lining similar to that of the stomach.”*  Barrett’s esophagus has been shown to be a precursor to esophageal cancer.  

This study linked a higher amount of visceral fat to a greater risk of Barrett’s esophagus.

The fat located in the abdominal region is either defined as visceral or subcutaneous. Visceral fat surrounds the organs in the abdominal region, while subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the abdominal wall. 

Researchers reported that the elevated risk of Barrett’s esophagus related to the increase of visceral abdominal fat was found in both those who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and also those who do not experience GERD symptoms.

For a more information on the study, please refer to the following two articles:

“Visceral abdominal obesity measured by CT scan is associated with an increased risk of Barrett’s oesophagus: a case-control study.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine

“Visceral adipose tissue increased risk for Barrett’s esophagus.” Healio Gastroenterology

*“Barrett’s esophagus.” National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine 


Is your heartburn affecting your sleep?

February 11, 2014

Suffering from heartburn, whether be it during the day or at night, is an annoyance that many Americans cope with, some on a daily basis. An alarming 60 million Americans experience it at least once a month and 25 million Americans suffer from heartburn every day. When heartburn is this frequent or severe, people may be diagnosed with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly known as GERD.

The United States National Library of Medicine defines GERD as “a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach).” This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, becomes damaged or weakened.

If not properly treated, long-term sufferers of GERD can develop serious medical conditions, which include chronic cough or hoarseness, esophagitis, bleeding, scarring or ulcers of the esophagus and Barrett’s esophagus, an abnormal change in the lining of the esophagus that can potentially raise the risk of developing esophageal cancer.

It is important to note that many patients who are diagnosed with GERD do not experience heartburn at all. Below are the most frequently reported symptoms of GERD:

• Heartburn (a symptom of acid reflux)
• Bad breath
• Burning or pain in the chest or throat
• Chronic cough
• Hoarseness or chronic sore throat
• Bitter taste in mouth
• Inflammation in the mouth and erosion of teeth
• Problems swallowing
• Asthma-like symptoms
• Excessive belching

GERD is amongst the most prevalent upper gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and most likely one of the most common disease diagnosed by Gastroenterologists across our nation.

For many, GERD does not just disrupt their daily routine, but their sleep as well. GERD sufferers who have trouble sleeping at night could also go on to experience other health problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea, sleepiness during the day and restless leg syndrome.

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It is best to first speak to a gastroenterologist or a primary health care provider to see what options are available to treat GERD effectively. Below are some helpful tips in order to reduce GERD symptoms and enjoy a better night’s sleep.

• Eat smaller meals
• Chew food slowly and thoroughly
• Say upright after meals
• Avoid foods which trigger your GERD symptoms (fats, spicy foods, alcohol)
• Keep a food journal to track your “trigger foods”
• Try sleeping with your head elevated. Either with extra pillows or a wedge pillow
• Restrict your eating in the evening
• Do not eat or drink anything two hours before bedtime (with the exception of water for medications.)

Again, please consult your doctor if you are having problems sleeping at night or are experiencing frequent or severe heartburn.  These suggestions are intended for informational purposes only.

Sources:
National Sleep Foundation
WebMD
American College of Gastroenterology 
 
 
 

‘Missed Opportunities in GERD Complication Screenings’

January 30, 2014

High-risk patients don’t always get endoscopic examination for Barrett’s esophagus, cancer, say researchers.
Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Men aged 65 years and older are much more likely to suffer the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal, gastric or duodenal cancer, but they’re much less likely to undergo endoscopic screenings that can detect these complications, according to recent research.

Go to full story in Outpatient Surgery here.

 

 

 

 

 


How is esophageal cancer diagnosed?

January 28, 2014

 Upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy

During this procedure, a doctor uses an endoscope to see the upper GI tract which consists of the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine.  An endoscope is a lightweight, flexible, hollow instrument equipped with a lens which allows the doctor to see these internal parts.  Examining the esophagus, the doctor is looking for any abnormalities; inflammation, areas which have been irritated, abnormal growths or cancer. The procedure is generally preformed while a patient is under sedation.  Sedation is not required for all patients as some receive minimal to no sedation.   Doctors utilize endoscopy procedures to also detect ulcers, abnormal growths in the stomach or first part of small intestines, bowel obstructions or hiatal hernias.  There are small risks associated with an endoscopy such as bleeding, tissue infection and tears in the gastrointestinal tract.  These are rare instances, the Mayo Clinic reports that the latter occurs in about three to five out of every 10,000 upper endoscopies.

X-Ray

Also, known as a barium swallow or esophagram, is an upper gastroentestional series of X-rays used to examine the esophagus for any abnormal conditions.  This test requires patient to drink a thick liquid that temporarily coats the lining of the esophagus.  This will highlight the lining of the esophagus clearly on the X-rays to help better detect any abnormality.

Biopsy

If during an endoscopy, doctors finds any suspicious tissue, they will use an endoscope (defined above) passed down the throat into the esophagus to collect a sample of the tissue.  This tissue sample is then sent to a laboratory which will look for cancer cells.

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cancer research foundation, salgi, salgi foundation, salgi esophageal, salgi esophageal cancer, salgi esophageal cancer research, salgi esophageal cancer research foundation, salgi esophageal foundation, foundation salgi, esophageal cancer awareness salgi, esophageal cancer awareness salgi ri, ri esophageal cancer awareness salgi, ri salgi esophageal cancer, salgi esophageal cancer awareness ri salgi, salgi treatment esophageal cancer, salgi treatment esophageal cancer awareness, salgi treatment esophageal cancer awareness ri, Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run, Cancer Walk, Cancer Walk RI, Walk RI, Run RI, Rhode Island Walk, Rhode Island Cancer, Cancer Walks in RI, Cancer Run in RI, Run for charity, Run in RI, cancer run, cancer walk, cancer walk ri, cancer run ri, esophageal cancer, cancer of the esophagus, cancer, esophageal cancer ri, cancer of esophagus, ri cancer, cancer awareness, cancer research, cancer prevention, ri cancer research, ri cancer prevention, ri cancer treatment, ri cancer charity, charity ri, charity, cancer, treat esophageal cancer, treat cancer, treatment of esophageal cancer, treatment of esophageal cancer ri, acid reflux, heartburn can cause cancer, heartburn ri, acid reflux ri, heartburn, heartburn remedy, heartburn remedies, acid reflux remedies, charity run ri, charity walk ri, run for cancerTalk to your doctor if you experience heartburn more than twice a week, as that can be a symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is one of the major risk factor for esophageal cancer.  Patients who experience GERD symptoms for more than five years and have other risk factors associated with esophageal cancer, such as being overweight or smoking, are at an elevated risk of developing esophageal cancer.

Unfortunately, esophageal cancer is often detected late because symptoms do not occur until the cancer has progressed. 

This is why we stress the importance of speaking to your doctor about your frequent GERD symptoms and discuss the different ways in which they can be controlled.  For many, lifestyle changes, such as monitoring food and beverage ‘reflux triggers’ and losing weight, can help alleviate acid reflux.  (Click here to read more tips on how to manage acid reflux.)

Too often, esophageal cancer is diagnosed at advanced and/or incurable stages due to the late onset of symptoms. This makes the cancer difficult if not impossible to treat and often results in 80% of patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer dying within the first year.

Let’s work together to change the statistics regarding esophageal cancer.  If you are experiencing frequent acid reflux, consult your doctor and be sure to also share this message with your family and friends.  Click on the share buttons below to spread the word and save lives!

 

 

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American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy 

RefluxMD: “Diagnosing GERD: The First Step Towards Treatment”

January 16, 2014

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) elevates one’s risk of developing esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma.)  The risk further increases based on the severity of symptoms (ie. heartburn and regurgitation from the stomach) and how long it goes without being properly treated.

The United States National Library of Medicine defines GERD as “a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach).” This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, becomes damaged or weakened.

Esophageal cancer adenocarinoma is the fastest growing cancer in the United States and also one of the deadliest cancers.  Since the cancer is often detected late, the survival rate is extremely low.   Therefore, it is crucial to speak to your doctor if you or someone you know is suffering from frequent heartburn and/or regurgitation.

There are many tests that can be performed to accurately diagnose GERD.  Too often, PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) are prescribed by doctors for the treatment of GERD.  PPIs function are to only manage GERD symptoms they do not repair the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Unfortunately, these medications do not relieve all patients from their GERD symptoms and they are not intended to be taken for a long period of time as they can cause serious long-term health effects.

Our friends at RefluxMD put together a fantastic article which describes the various ways your doctor can assess your condition.  Don’t ignore frequent heartburn!  Take the very first step in managing your GERD symptoms by reading this article.  Click here to learn more.

We are thankful for resources such as our friends at RefluxMD.  By working together, we can continue to raise awareness of esophageal cancer and dangerous risk factors such as GERD.


Your Heartburn Medications Could Deprive You of an Important Vitamin

December 11, 2013

If you are among one of the millions of Americans who attempts to alleviate your heartburn with medication or know someone that does, keep reading. A recent study conducted by a group of researchers from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, suggests heartburn medications, proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers, may increase the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency,

H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors are stronger heartburn medications which require a prescription from a doctor. These drugs are used to treat chronic acid reflux, which typically occurs two or more times a week and could be a sign of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Reports have shown over 113 million PPI prescriptions are filled every year and cost up to $14 billion annually. Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer of LiveScience, reported that the study found people who took PPIs “for two or more years were 65 percent more likely to be diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency than those who did not take such medications.” She went on to report additional study findings that “people who took another type of acid-suppressing drug, called histamine 2 receptor antagonists, for two or more years were 25 percent more likely to have vitamin B12 deficiency.”

While these heartburn medications are recommended to be taken no longer than 8 to 12 weeks, many take them far longer. In addition to a deficiency of vitamin B12, which can increase the risk of “anemia and damage to the nerves,”* other studies in the past have connected long-term use of these heartburn medications with an increased risk of bone fractures and iron deficiency. Other reported long-term effects include a “heighten risk of death from infections.”

Now there is an even greater need for further research on alternative methods to alleviating heartburn without the use of these medications.

Contributing to research projects is not only one step towards finding a cure for esophageal cancer, but will also open the door to a wealth of other discoveries which will positively impact other aspects of health. To make a tax deductible donation to research online, click here.

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Original article on LiveScience.