April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, and we, along with the CU School of Medicine Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, are promoting awareness of the risks and symptoms of esophageal cancer.
We talked with CU Medicine provider, Dr. Sachin Wani, about ways to prevent or reduce your risk of esophageal cancer.
What to know about esophageal cancer:
- Esophageal cancer continues to increase in incidence with more than 18,000 new cases each year
- Esophageal adenocarcinoma, which affects the cells of the lower esophagus, is the most common subtype of esophageal cancer.
- Despite all the advances in the field of esophageal cancer, a significant proportion of patients with esophageal adenocarcinoma present with advanced stage disease and a dismal five-year survival rate.
- Barrett’s esophagus is the only precancerous condition associated with esophageal adenocarcinoma.
- Screening for Barrett’s esophagus with upper endoscopy should be considered in individuals with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and presence of other risk factors such as age >50 years, male gender, obesity, tobacco smoking and family history of Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma.
- Symptoms for esophageal cancer include dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), weight loss, gastrointestinal bleeding and anemia and should prompt an urgent referral to a gastroenterologist.
- Several advances have allowed for the management of Barrett’s related neoplasia (dysplasia and early cancer) using endoscopic eradication therapies.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of esophageal cancer, click or tap here to make an appointment at CU Medicine Gastroenterology in Highlands Ranch or call (720) 516-2130. Help spread awareness, because early detection means better hope for survival.