This April, Capital Digestive Care is observing Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month. Esophageal cancer, which is cancer of the esophagus, is one of the fastest-growing cancer diagnoses in the United States with nearly 18,000 new cases diagnosed annually. It often begins as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid flows into the food pipe, irritating the lining of the esophagus.
Acid reflux and heartburn can set the stage for esophageal cancer by causing tissue damage that can lead to a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Fortunately, Capital Digestive Care has physicians who specialize in the treatment of both Barrett’s esophagus, heartburn and acid reflux. See a doctor if you have pain or difficulty when swallowing, hoarseness, excessive coughing, enlarged lymph nodes or abnormal weight loss.