Barrett’s Esophagus Patients are less likely to Get Esophageal Cancer than Previously Thought

Posted: Jul 15 in Surgery Blog tagged by Staff

Researchers are still studying the connection between Barrett’s esophagus and the gall bladder or gallstones, but at least one study recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute claims that patients with Barrett’s esophagus might have a lower risk of getting esophageal cancer than previously thought.

Previous guesses and estimates of the number of people with Barrett’s esophagus progressing into esophageal adenocarcinoma, the most common form of esophageal cancer, have varied widely. Only since the publication of this long-term study do we have a more accurate picture of the risk.

In this study scientists followed more than 8,000 patients in Northern Ireland. After following up with these patients seven years later, the incidences of patients progressing to some form of related cancer was only 0.22% per year, whereas previous estimates ranged between 0.58% and 3% per year.

The study broke their results down further to show that men with Barrett’s are more likely to get a related cancer than women, and those in the age group of 60 to 69 were at a higher risk than those under 50 or over 80.

What this means for sufferers of Barrett’s esophagus in Ft. Meyers, FL, is that the level of surveillance and diagnostic exams undertaken by these patients in order to watch out for esophageal cancer may not be necessary because the incidents of progressing to cancer are much fewer than previously thought.

This does not mean you no longer need to be vigilant; but it does mean that your prognosis may not be quite so grim. This is a fairly new study and more testing will be needed in order to determine if new testing guidelines should be implemented to detect esophageal cancer in those people with Barrett’s esophagus.

Always discuss treatment options with your doctor and remember to never discontinue treatment or medications unless advised by your doctor to do so.

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