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How do other illnesses affect esophageal cancer?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Two other diseases that are notable in their effects on esophageal cancer are acid reflux (heartburn) and Barrett's esophagus. Both of these diseases can cause the long-term irritation of the esophagus that seems to be linked to developing esophageal cancer. Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach moves up into the esophagus. Although heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux, some people have no symptoms associated with the disease. Years of acid reflux can cause esophageal cancer.

Barrett's esophagus is a condition caused by acid reflux. It occurs when the lower part of the esophagus has been exposed to stomach acid for long periods of time. The affected part of the esophagus Barrett's esophagus has abnormal cells known as "precancerous cells." These can lead to esophageal cancer.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.