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Can GERD lead to cancer?

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Dr. Adnaan S
Space Doctor
Doctor
11 Streak Score Doctors are able to put a streak together by performing an activity everyday
GERD in its most severe form can result in cancer. This “precancerous” stage is referred to as Barrets oesophagus. This occurs only in about 5% of patients with severe and prolonged symptoms and hence is still considered as a relatively rare cause of cancer. In general, patients with persistent GERD like symptoms should do an initial surveillance scope if symptoms persist and especially if red flag symptoms are present such as difficulty swallowing (not pain), sensation of something stuck in the chest, worsening heartburn, early satiety, persistent bloating , loss of weight (>5% over a period of 6 months). Based on the American colleague of gastroenterology, patients with the aforementioned symptoms and are of > 60years old should get a scope done. The evidence is much weaker for patients <60 years of age, in which case, it would depend on the severity as per the clinicians assessment. In essence, GERD is not a progression but a risk factor for cancer. Other bigger risk factors include excessive smoking/alcohol consumption/obesity.
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Dr. Dinesh G
Doctor
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Hi @gerdboss this is a great question. That is correct, studies have shown that a small proportion of patients with recurrent GERD causing certain changes in the lower throat can eventually develop cancer. You can speak to a gastroenterologist for detailed evaluation if you think this may be a concern.
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