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Cancer of the Esophagus (Esophageal Adenocarcinoma)

Posted Sep 22 2008 5:37pm
Former Texas governor Ann Richards recently died of esophageal cancer (she had squamous cell type).
Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA) is:
-The most RAPIDLY growing incidence of ANY CANCER in the country.
-Occurrence of this cancer is DOUBLING every 5 years.
-This cancer is STRONGLY ASSOCIATED with GERD.
-The incidence of GERD has INCREASED in recent years.
-Esophageal adenocarcinoma is PRECEEDED by a change of the cell layer lining the inside surface (transformation of the epithelium) of the esophagus.
-This transformation of the esophagus "lining" (from squamous to columnar/glandular) is referred to as BARRETT'S ESOPHAGUS.
-Many people with Barrett's Esophagus will have OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA.
-EA is NOT directly associated with alcohol and cigarette use as is squamous cell cancer.
-Long standing HEARTBURN at night, in a white male over 50, is a signifigant risk for EA.
-Possible in persons who have NEVER experienced heartburn.
-MUST be detected in early stage to effect a surgical cure in the 15-20% who survive.
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