Barrett’s esophagus is not cancer. You can call BE cancer stage 0 or pre-cancer. While many BE patients may worry about esophageal cancer, only about 1% of BE patients actually develop esophageal cancer according to the article linked below.
The challenge is that most people who are diagnosed with anything even close to cancer want the diagnosis fixed. BE patients usually want their BE to be healed.
Radio-frequency ablation of BE is safe and effective according to the studies below.
For more information about non-toxic, non-conventional therapies for Barrett’s Esophagus, scroll down the page, post a comment or question and I will reply to you ASAP.
“Barrett’s esophagus is a serious complication of GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. In Barrett’s esophagus, the normal tissue lining the esophagus — the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach — changes to tissue that resembles the lining of the intestine. About 10% of people with chronic symptoms of GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus.
Barrett’s esophagus does not have any specific symptoms, although patients with Barrett’sesophagus may have symptoms related to GERD. It does, though, increase the risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is a serious, potentially fatal cancer of the esophagus.
Although the risk of this cancer is higher in people with Barrett’sesophagus, the disease is still rare. Less than 1% of people with Barrett’sesophagus develop this particular cancer. Nevertheless, if you’ve been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, it’s important to have routine examinations of your esophagus. With routine examination, your doctor can discover precancerous and cancer cells early, before they spread and when the disease is easier to treat.
When you swallow food or liquid, it automatically passes through the esophagus, which is a hollow, muscular tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle at the end of the esophagus where it joins the stomach, keeps stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus.
The stomach produces acid in order to digest food, but it is also protected from the acid it produces. With GERD, stomach contents flow backward into the esophagus. This is known as reflux.
Most people with acid reflux don’t develop Barrett’s esophagus. But in patients with frequent acid reflux, the normal cells in the esophagus may eventually be replaced by cells that are similar to cells in the intestine to become Barrett’s esophagus.”
“Recently, extensive data have been published about the safety and efficacy of endoscopic radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of Barrett’s esophagus (BE) with early cancer and dysplasia as well as without dysplasia.
RFA has been shown to be effective and safe. Circumferential RFA is delivered using the HALO(360+) Ablation System (Covidien, Inc., Mansfield, MA), which consists of a high-power energy generator, a sizing balloon catheter, and a number of balloon-based ablation catheters with varying outer diameters. Focal RF energy is delivered using the HALO(90) or HALO(60) Ablation Systems (Covidien, Inc., Mansfield, MA), consisting of a radiofrequency energy generator and an endoscope-mounted electrode. Both RFA systems have official approval to be used in the United States, Europe, and other countries for the treatment of BE as well as in patients with gastric antral vascular ectasia and radiation proctopathy.
With increasing widespread use of these systems, a full mastery of the equipment and therapeutic technique is essential to maximize eradication rates of BE while maintaining patient safety. A cost-effective patient selection and eradication protocol for RFA is essential to success with this technique in patients with BE. This article will discuss our experience with RFA treatment of BE using the HALO system for effective eradication of Barrett’s dysplasia and early Barrett’s cancer and review available data especially from the U.S. National Registry.”
Dear Cancer Coach- Thanks for the great info! I’ve had Barrett’s Esophagus (BE) for about 10 yrs. During EGD in Dec. ’18 they found high & low grade dysplasia. I underwent an EMR (endoscopic mucosal resection) April 2nd.
I’m a little confused as to what they did; I originally thought is was to remove some of the dysplasia. They removed a non-dysplacic polyp. I’m thinking there was some kind of miss-communication between the two gasto-drs I’ve been working with.
I’m scheduled for a halo ablation July 18th. (I’m thinking this is the same thing as a Radio Frequency ablation.)
I would appreciate it if you could help me untangle some of some of the confusion I have. IE: what did the EMR accomplish? Was it necessary? Will the RFA remove high grade dysplacia? Any other comments welcome!
I’ve also been drinking a little aloe vera juice in the hopes that would help. FYI, I’ve been a vegan for about 10 years. I eat a little herring or sardines every day in hopes of getting enough Omega 3’s. Plus I eat flax & other seeds & nuts every day. I also eat turmeric with every meal.
Please let me know if you have any short-term advice.
Thanks again!! Gus
I am sorry to read of your Barrett’s Esophagus issues but my read is that you and your doctors are working hard to make sure your BE does not progress to esophageal cancer. I will try to answer your questions below.
“I underwent an EMR (mucousal resection) April 2nd. I’m a little confused as to what they did; I originally thought is was to remove some of the dysplasia. They removed a non-dysplasic polyp. I’m thinking there was some kind of miss-communication between the two gasto-drs I’ve been working with.”
My understanding of an EMR, (see the article below), is to remove pre-cancerous tumors. My understanding is that a polyp is a pre-cancerous growth. I think that the vocabulary used by M.D.s is very confusing. Technically polyps, BE, other growths are considered “pre-cancer” because they increase the risk of becoming cancerous.
I don’t know what your M.D. said to you about the purpose of EMR but removing the polyp will reduce your risk of developing EC. This is good.
“I’m scheduled for a halo ablation July 18th. (I’m thinking this is the same thing as a RF ablation.”
You are correct. HALO is a type of ablation.
“IE: what did the EMR accomplish? Was it necessary? Will the RFA remove high grade dysplacia?”
To confirm, yes, removing the polyp in your esophagus reduced your risk of EC. Just like removing polyps in one’s colon reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.
Also, yes, radio-frequency ablation will reduce your risk of your BE becoming EC. Two different procedures for two different types of growths that increase the risk of EC.
For the record, the risk of BE becoming EC is small (.5 to 1.0 percent). But since esophageal cancer is difficult to cure, reducing your risk of EC is useful.
Lastly, your non-conventional therapies such as Aloe Vera juice, omega-3 fatty acids, flax, nuts and turmeric are also excellent therapies to reduce your risk of esophageal cancer.
I encourage you to exercise regularly and quit tobacco if you haven’t already. Reduce any alcohol consumption as well. While I’m at it, I will encourage you to eat more fruits and veggies and reduce your consumption of animal fat.
“Some patients who have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus will develop dysplasia and, in some cases, esophageal carcinoma (strength of recommendation [SOR]: A, based on consistent cohort studies). Endoscopic surveillance is recommended for all patients with Barrett’s esophagus as it is superior to other methods for detecting esophageal cancer…”
“It has also been shown to be safe and effective for early adenocarcinoma arising in Barrett’s esophagus. The prognosis after treatment with EMR is comparable to surgical resection. This technique can be attempted in patients, without evidence of nodal or distant metastases, with differentiated tumors that are slightly raised and less than 2 cm in diameter, or in differentiated tumors that are ulcerated and less than 1 cm in diameter. The most commonly employed modalities of EMR include strip biopsy, double-snare polypectomy…”
“Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is the most important risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma. Through the sequence of no dysplasia to low-grade dysplasia (LGD) and high-grade dysplasia (HGD), eventually early cancer (EC) may develop.
The risk of neoplastic progression is relatively low, 0.5–0.9 % per patient per year. However, once diagnosed, esophageal adenocarcinoma is often irresectable, and 5-year survival is only 15 %. Therefore, non-dysplastic BE patients are kept under endoscopic surveillance to detect early neoplasia in a curable stage.
In case of LGD confirmed by an expert pathologist, risk of neoplastic progression is high. In these confirmed LGD patients, prophylactic ablation using radiofrequency ablation (RFA) of the Barrett’s segment has proven to significantly reduce risk of neoplastic progression…