Barrett’s disease is quite often related to acid reflux and GERD although it can also occur without being associated with that particular disease. It is a condition of the oesophagus when the tissue lining of the inner wall of oesophagus turns similar to be that of the intestine. But it is found that almost 10% of the GERD patient turns into inducting Barrett’s Disease. And in some cases it can further be developed into a condition called Adenocarcinoma which is considered to be an early stage of esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer and GERD
GERD is an advanced stage of hyperacidity. When we consume food it passes through the esophagus after swallowing, to the stomach where it is mixed with various enzymes and digestive juices. It is also mixed with stomach acid for better digestion. The stomach acid may be produced in larger amount for various reasons that include wrong and irregular food habit, excessive intake of fast food, waking late at night, too much stress and tension etc.
When the excessive stomach acid mixes with the food, the food quantity the stomach gets acidic.
When it starts occurring frequently, the acidic food content gradually impact the inner wall of the stomach and the oesophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter gradually leaves a gap between the stomach and oesophagus and the acidic food content starts flowing upwards through the gap into the oesophagus and even sometimes into the throat area resulting regurgitation and burping. Often it creates a very uneasy sensation in the chest area that is often termed as heartburn and all together the disease is called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD.
A chronic heart patient is highly prone to developing Barrett’s disease in due course of time when the tissue lining of the oesophagus turns into that of the intestine. It is also quite alarming that one can have the syndrome of adenocarcinoma in some cases as the result of the frequent occurrence of Barrett’s disease.
Signs and symptoms of oesophagus cancer
The signs of esophageal cancer are revealed usually in the later phase of the disease and therefore, it is quite hard to detect the disease in the early stage.
One may have the problem of swallowing if there is a tumor developed in the inner wall of the oesophagus. But it is difficult to consider it as a grave issue and that is why one tries to resolve the issue by adopting some simple methods like taking smaller quantity of food at a time or chewing it with extra effort or having more water with food or taking more and more liquid food. But when it is realized that the problem is not so simple usually it becomes too late.
Weight loss and other symptoms
Weight loss is another prominent symptom of esophageal cancer. Since, there is a huge difficulty in swallowing food that is why people often become malnourished resulting gradual weight loss.
Other than all these prominent symptoms there are some other symptoms which should never be neglected to be considered as the warning for esophageal cancer. These include chronic cough and hiccup, frequent vomiting, hoarseness, bone pain, black stool etc.