Prevent Barrett’s Esophagus and Esophageal Cancer with Proper Screening
Barrett’s esophagus increases your risks for developing esophageal cancer. If you’ve been diagnosed with GERD, understanding your options when it comes to preventing Barrett’s esophagus is critical.
Prevention of Barrett’s Esophagus
Prevention of Barrett’s esophagus means preventing GERD, the mechanism that causes Barrett’s to develop.
Changes in diet
This includes limiting or excluding spicy or acidic foods, caffeinated, alcoholic and carbonated drinks, and any other foods that cause you to experience heartburn symptoms.
Eating no later than 6 or 7 p.m., avoiding overeating, and taking off excess weight are strategies that can contribute significantly to a reduction in symptoms. Wearing loose clothing may also help. Keeping a journal to record when symptoms occur can help you identify other triggers.
Both over-the-counter and prescription medicines are available to help manage your GERD symptoms and are primarily focused on blocking the production of excess stomach acid. If you’ve been using over-the-counter medicines to treat frequent heartburn, it’s very important to see your doctor so you can be screened for GERD or Barrett’s.
If you have GERD, having an endoscopic examination to look for precancerous tissue in your esophagus is one of the most important ways you can prevent Barrett’s esophagus from turning to esophageal cancer. Endoscopy involves using a flexible scope inserted through your mouth to view your esophagus and take biopsies – tiny tissue samples – that can be analyzed for the presence of cancerous or precancerous cells.
Cellvizio Optical Biopsy
Endoscopic techniques that can provide screening results more quickly than traditional biopsy procedures include the Cellvizio system. It uses a tiny microscope that can examine tissues during the endoscopy, eliminating the need to harvest tissues and send them out to a lab for analysis. Using the Cellvizio optical biopsy system, doctors can examine and evaluate the esophagus and remove precancerous tissue all in the same procedure, which means patients can receive the care they need without delay.
The Next Step
If you have GERD or you’re suffering from frequent, chronic heartburn, getting treatment early is your best defense against developing Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. Make an appointment today to be evaluated so you can stay as healthy as possible.