Oesophageal Patients Association

Why middle-aged men should never dismiss persistent heartburn


This is a very good article from the Daily Mail from 28 February to which our good friends Mike Griffin, Rebecca Fitzgerald and Mimi McCord have contributed.

4 Replies

I hope the new non-invasive test for Barrett's becomes the medical standard for patients with long-term heartburn, particularly because here in the US one can't get referred for an endoscopy unless one reports difficulty in swallowing or has Barrett's and, before the new test, nothing could diagnose Barrett's short of an endoscopy--Catch 22. I told two different GP's and two different gastros performing my colonoscopies that I had heartburn and had been taking PPI's for 15 years. None of them recommended an endoscopy and you know the rest. Fortunately I am doing great 18 months removed from my Ivor Lewis and pre-op chemo and chemoradiation. Worth


Interesting, I suffered with heartburn for years and it was only that a `locum` doctor sent me for an endoscopy. It turned out that I had Barratts as a result they sent me for regular endoscopies every 2-3 years. After about 10 years YES I was diagnosed with cancer, luckily it was very at the very early stage. Had the op 3 months after being diagnosed now I`m 5 years post op and grateful for those endoscopies.


Very interesting article. There is no mention of having a hiatus hernia which I think may contribute to acid reflux. I have seen many posts on here from people who have said they had one. It also makes me a little cross when smoking and alcohol are mentioned as causes of OC as I was told this was a possible cause of my cancer when I had done neither! But I was born in the North East which as Professor Griffin says is an area of high incidence of OC. I have wondered however if living for 18 years with parents who smoked heavily may have contributed. Hope research continues to find a way to prevent treat and cure this cancer for the future.


I believe that smoking and alcohol probably contribute to squamous cell carcinoma statistically, but that is not all the story of course as people do develop it with healthy lifestyles. We had a survey re hiatus hernia and it is quite likely to result in excess reflux, which does contribute to adenocarcinoma. Smoking can relax the lower oesophageal sphincter and thereby increase reflux. So it is quite complex. Most of the time the comments are generalised and do not distinguish between the two types, which does make for frustration, I agree.


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