It has been scientifically shown that the number of people diagnosed with esophageal cancer is constantly increasing. What`s more, this number is expected to be over staggering 140 percent by 2025. The chance of getting this cancer type is lower at younger individuals, and gradually increases with age. About 15 percent of all cases are found in individuals younger than 55.
The risk factors are different for all cancer types, and risk factors like smoking can be changed. On the other hand, risk factors like family history or age cannot be changed. It has been scientifically shown that a few factors affect the risk of cancer of the esophagus, some are likely to increase the risk for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and others for squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus. People with GERD, commonly known as acid reflux, are at slightly higher risk of getting adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.
Given the fact that this type of cancer and its symptoms are very similar to certain common conditions, such as difficulties with swallowing and acid reflux, the common bad diagnoses are not surprising at all.
Consequently, doctors warn people to be extra cautious when it comes to potential symptoms of this kind of cancer so that the risk of fatal consequences could be avoided.
Sadly, Jay Rensberger was one of those patients. He had been suffering from acid reflux for a long time and refused to see the doctor. Initially, he treated this problem with the use of medications, but the condition worsened. Then, his wife made him visit the doctor, who advised him to do an endoscopy.
Endoscopy is a procedure used to examine a person’s digestive tract and esophagus. It is important to note that the type of cancer which develops in the esophagus is 4 times more common in men than in women.
The results obtained from the endoscopy showed that Jay has been suffering from esophageal cancer, which was removed by operation right away. The fact that Jay`s cancer was detected on time basically saved his life.
However, as mentioned above, this type of cancer is rarely discovered on time, as its symptoms like difficulties in swallowing and acid reflux are almost never associated with this disease. Therefore, the death rate in these cases is extremely high, and only 20 percent of the sufferers survive.
Still, according to Michael Sprang, professor of gastroenterology at the Medical University of Illinois, there is no need to panic if you have problems with acid reflux.
To sum up, it is recommended to consult your doctor as soon as possible and to endoscopy in case, the issues with acid reflux don’t subside after the use of medications.