Further, it does not become cancer most of the time. If your oncologist uses the word cancer at any time while discussing your GERD or Barrett’s Esophagus diagnosis please ask him or her to stop scaring you.
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“”The vast majority — about 95% — of patients who develop esophageal adenocarcinoma do so outside of screening and surveillance, while most — again, about 95% — under surveillance do not develop esophageal cancer and die of other causes,” Dr. Reid pointed out…
“We as clinicians must stop scaring our patients,” Dr. Reid emphasized, noting that only about 5% of reflux patients are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus on endoscopy, and of those, only a minuscule proportion (0.3% – 0.7%) progress to cancer each year…
“In the meantime, physicians also have to recognize and stop using the word cancer because all it does is scare the patient,” Dr. Reid added, concluding, “After you tell a patient that they have Barrett’s and that only a very small minority develop cancer, just stop. Stop and acknowledge that you said a very scary word, ‘cancer,’ and make sure that the patient has heard the entire sentence.”