• Frequently Asked Questions

    How does a doctor follow a Barrett’s Esophagus patient?

    If a Barrett’s esophagus is identified then it is important to follow the patient with regular gastroscopies to obtain biopsies to see if there is any associated dysplasia or early cancer that is arising in the Barrett’s esophagus that can be treated before a more serious problem arises. The follow up program will vary depending on the biopsy results. If one identifies a very high grade of dysplasia or early cancer then there are several options of treatment. These include cutting out the area thru the scope, using a special light after the tissue has been sensitized to destroy the involved area called Photodynamic therapy or surgery where the entire esophagus is removed.

    I’ve been told that I have Barrett’s Esophagus. Does this mean I will develop esophageal cancer?

    Sometimes the cells at the lower end of the esophagus are replaced by glandular cells resembling those of the stomach and small intestine. This change is referred to as Barrett’s esophagus. This disorder is believed to increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer.  It can be controlled with medications.  You need to carefully monitor the status of the cells in your esophagus to minimize the likelihood of developing cancer.

    If I have Barrett’s esophagus, will I develop esophageal cancer?

    Barrett’s esophagus is believed to increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer. However, the true risk of developing esophageal cancer in people with Barrett’s esophagus remains controversial. Most physicians recommend that people with Barrett’s esophagus undergo endoscopy about every two years to screen for cancer and allow early treatment. In some cases more frequent endoscopy is recommended.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health