Dr. John D Chovan PhD DNP RN APRN-CNP APRN-CNS
Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux, screening, surveillance
Medicine and Health Sciences | Nursing
The incidence of esophageal cancer, a deadly cancer, is rising and the only known precursor is Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which mucosa undergo progressive multi-step cellular changes. Currently, the exact pathogenesis is uncertain, but likely occurs from chronic reflux of acid and bile in the distal esophagus. Understanding the limited pathology of Barrett’s esophagus guides screening, surveillance, diagnosis and treatment. The current focus, though guidelines vary, recommends screening those at highest risk of developing Barrett’s: Caucasian males, over the age of 50, with central obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease, a history of smoking and a familial history of Barrett’s esophagus and/or esophageal cancer. Those with Barrett’s esophagus can still progress to esophageal cancer despite having no history of dysplasia. What’s more, is that some patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer, have no history of gastroesophageal reflux or Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is complex and requires additional research and screening to enhance prognosis.
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