‘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 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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!

 

 

Gastro.net.au
MayoClinic
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.


GERD Awareness Week: November 24-31, 2013

November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving, a time for family and friends to gather together, share their thanks and enjoy a delicious and abundant feast. During the holiday season, it can be easy to overindulge in favorite foods and subsequently, for many, to experience heartburn.

The week of Thanksgiving has been dedicated to raising awareness for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, known more commonly as GERD.

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Occasional heartburn does not typically cause major concern, as millions of Americans experience it at some point in their lives. However, persistent heartburn which typically occurs two or more times a week should not be taken lightly, as it could be a sign of chronic acid reflux or 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.

While esophageal cancer only makes up 2% of all cancer deaths in the United States, it has increased over 400% in the past 20 years and is one of the most lethal types of cancers; Stage IV has a daunting survival rate of only 5%. When caught in the early stages, patients have a higher rate of survival, as there are more treatment options available.

President of The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation, whose father suffered from chronic acid reflux for years and passed away from esophageal cancer says “If you have frequent heartburn, don’t ignore it or just take a pill. Talk to your doctor about all of your options.”

To read the full article published in GoLocalProv click here: Healthy Living: GERD Awareness Week- November 24-30

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Abdominal Fat Linked to Esophageal Cancer; Tips to Trim Your Waistline

November 22, 2013

New research shows that central adiposity (an accumulation of fat in the abdomen area) is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. This research was published in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Being overweight, particularly in the mid-section, elevates not only the risk of developing esophageal cancer, as this new research states, but a number of other diseases, proven in other studies. Below are some tips to help reduce “belly fat” and improve overall health and wellness.

Eat one less cookie a day

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD, suggests in his book, YOU on a Diet: The Owner’s Manual for Waist Management to reduce your caloric intake by just 100 calories per day. That means, eat one less cookie, candy bar, can/bottle of soda or piece of holiday pie. This seemingly small change can have a huge impact. Dr. Oz suggests that it may help you to lose about 12 pounds per year*.

Get moving

Refer to Sir Isaac Newton’s Frist Law of Motion: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion.” Basically, the more you exercise the more you will burn and the more you rest, the more you will gain. Whether you are a triathlete or a couch potato, workout at your speed.

Count sheep

Studies have shown that when we are tired and are not sleeping properly, it negatively affects our appetite, which causes us not only to gain weight but make improper food choices. Keep your sleeping area calming, avoid technology right before bed and make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night.

Build muscle

Strengthening your core (abdominal) and lower back muscles will help you shed belly fat fast. Remember to always practice safe lifting while exercising. It may also be helpful to consider working with a personal trainer for even just a few lessons to make sure you are working out right and to avoid injury. Ladies, muscle burns fat. Pay no attention to the myth that if lifting weights will cause your body to transform into a bodybuilder’s.

Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks!

According to research, eating healthy meals and snacks regularly throughout the day will not only benefit your health but keep you more focused and energized. When we do not eat regularly, we make poor food choices and our body can go into “starvation-mode”, which can cause it to hold on to more fat. Dr. Oz recommends his patients avoid eating processed foods because they can cause you to still be hungry soon after you’re done brushing the crumbs away.

Ditch the elevator

For many, the majority of our day is spent sedentary. Whether we are at a desk in front of a computer at work, watching TV, playing video or online games, eating meals or driving in the car, we sit, sit and sit some more. The best way to burn extra calories every day is to move around more. It sounds simple, but you can burn a significant amount of calories by taking extra trips to the water cooler during the day at work, parking your car further away from the door, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and even walking a bit further with your dog. Here are some tips to “workout” when you are at work!

Keep healthy snacks on hand

Pack healthy snacks and take them with you when you are on-the-go. Choose foods like almonds, celery, carrots, greek yogurt, berries and whole grain crackers. Keeping healthy options on-hand can help you avoid the dreaded vending machine and quiet your grumbling stomach. Again, sometimes when we are hungry, we end up making poor food choices.

Stress less

Easier said than done, right? Reduce your daily stress by meditating, practicing yoga, taking a walk, reading a book or sipping tea. Stress affects many aspects of our mental, emotional and physical health. Check out our Pinterest board “Namaste” for some great Yoga tips.

Don’t give up

Author Louis Sachar once stated ‘It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.’  Keep going, don’t give up and remember to be proud of all your achievements, no matter how big or how small. Positive thinking will keep you going through the good times and the bad.

As always, consult your physician before making any changes to your diet, exercise or lifestyle. The aforementioned is for informational purposes only and should not be misconstrued for medical advice.


Walk/Run T-Shirts to Support Esophageal Cancer Research!

September 19, 2013

We still have some left-over t-shirts from our 2nd Annual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run event from this past June.

Donate $10 and receive a t-shirt.  To donate online through our safe & secure PayPal website, click here.

You can also mail your donation to our address located at the bottom of this post.

Your donation is tax-deductible and will go DIRECTLY to esophageal cancer research!

Our mission is to:
1. Raise awareness of esophageal cancer.
2. Encourage early detection and screening.
3. Fund research projects of esophageal cancer…in hopes of a cure!

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We have some 2nd Annual Esophageal Cancer Walk/Run t-shirts left over! Get yours today!

The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation
450 Providence Street Unit 17
West Warwick, RI 02893