Chronic heartburn could lead to cancer

With the Holiday season approaching, people likely to overindulge. Yet, only one in three (31 percent) Houstonians are likely to ask their physicians for a referral to a gastroenterologist to be sure their heartburn isn’t something more serious.

To help put the brakes on the rise of esophageal cancer, a new educational program from the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, is urging all who have chronic heartburn to think differently about their condition and learn more so disease can be prevented from progressing.

A recent survey shows:

  • Seven out of ten (71%) Houston residents suffer from heartburn two or more times a week
  • 64% are very/somewhat surprised to learn that chronic heartburn can lead to a form of esophageal cancer, one of the fastest growing cancers in the US
  • Even if heartburn sufferers are taking medication to treat their heartburn symptoms, these symptoms may still lead to something far more serious – changes in the cells lining of the esophagus that could lead to a common form of esophageal cancer.

Gastroenterologists can now more reliably detect these cellular changes when they are still completely harmless, and also more easily treat or remove them, preventing progression to actual cancer.

The Prevent Heartburn Cancer campaign is funded by a partnership with CDx Diagnostics®, the provider of WATS3D® testing used to help doctors find still harmless but precancerous cells.

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