Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cancer and Acid Reflux May Be Connected

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Cancer and Acid Reflux May Be Connected

Article excerpt

Chronic acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is becoming more widespread. On the other hand, esophageal cancer constitutes only 1 percent of cancers in the United States. However, doctors have become concerned about a growing incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus--a form of esophageal cancer--and how GERD might play a role,

When we swallow, a muscle around the bottom part of the esophagus relaxes to allow food and liquid to go into the stomach. The muscle then closes. If the muscle is weak or too relaxed, acid from the stomach can come back up or reflow (reflux), causing discomfort and sometimes ulcers.

GERD can lead to Barrett's esophagus, manifested by cellular changes in the lining of the lower part of the esophagus, which can increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Obesity, heavy drinking, and smoking can also increase the risk of certain types of esophageal cancer. More commonly, GERD causes heartburn, which tends to be mild. …

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