Esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) is considered the fastest growing cancer in the United States, according to the National Cancer Institute. Esophageal cancer is also one of the deadliest of cancers in the United States. In the past decades, there has been over a 33% increase in diagnosis of esophageal cancer in the past four decades (between 1973 and 2014, according to government data.)
Despite these facts, there are currently NO standard or routine screenings for esophageal cancer.
Early detection of esophageal cancer is crucial to survival.
Esophageal cancer has more treatment options when it is caught at its earlier stages. Unfortunately, esophageal cancer is often diagnosed at advanced stages.
This is why our mission is so important! We strive to raise awareness of the risk factors and symptoms of esophageal cancer, encourage the public to get screened as soon as possible and to fund research projects that are aimed at finding prevention, treatment and screening methods for esophageal cancer to improve survival.
Learn about how esophageal cancer is diagnosed.
While there are currently no standard or routine screenings to improve early detection rates of esophageal cancer, the American Gastroenterological Association has produced guidelines for patients with Barrett’s esophagus.
Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which the cells lining the lower part of the esophagus have changed or been replaced with abnormal cells that could lead to cancer of the esophagus. The backing up of stomach contents (reflux) may irritate the esophagus and, over time, cause Barrett esophagus.
Barrett’s esophagus has been shown to be a precursor to esophageal cancer.
Endoscopic Surveillance in Patients With Barrett’s Esophagus
via American Gastroenterological Association, gastro.org
Endoscopic surveillance be performed in patients with Barrett’s esophagus (weak recommendation, moderate-quality evidence).
Suggested surveillance intervals (weak recommendation, low-quality evidence):
- No dysplasia: 3—5 years
- Low-grade dysplasia: 6—12 months
- High-grade dysplasia in the absence of eradication therapy: 3 months.
- •Biopsy specimens obtained as part of an endoscopic surveillance program can detect curable neoplasia in patients with Barrett’s esophagus. Whether endoscopic surveillance reduces cancer incidence or mortality is not known because no long-term trial designed to answer this question has been performed.
For more information, please visit the American Gastroenterological Association, gastro.org.
To learn more about esophageal cancer, click the links below.