Introduction to Barrett's esophagus
How do I know if I have Barrett's Esophagus?
Approximately 10%-15% of persons with long-standing reflux symptoms develop Barrett's esophagus in their life times. The diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus needs upper endoscopy evaluation with biopsies.

Barrett's esophagus is a pre-cancerous condition of the lining of the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries foods, liquids and saliva from the mouth to the stomach.

Stomach acids back up into the esophagus from acid reflux or GERD, causing injury to the esophageal lining.

Barrett's esophagus is caused by the long-term exposure of the esophagus to acid reflux, a medical condition also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

When stomach acids back up into the esophagus, the lining of the esophagus can become injured. In some cases, the esophageal lining may develop into a different kind of tissue which resembles the lining of the intestine. This change is Barrett's esophagus.

Facts:

  • Barrett's esophagus prevalence is estimated to affect between 2 and 7 million adults over 40 years of age in the United States.  1-3, 10
  • Patients with Barrett's Esophagus are 30-125 times more likely to develop adenocarcinoma (esophageal cancer) than the general population. 4
  • The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma has risen approximately six-fold in the U.S. It is rising faster than breast cancer, prostate cancer, or melanoma. 5-6

Citations


The above introduction to esophagus is provided compliments of BARRX.