Question :

Scared of endoscopy, What are the chances that I have some kind of cancer?

Dear Ask The Doctor:
About 7 months ago I suffered a period of two to three weeks of some heartburn, some acid reflex, and increased gas with some pain in the chest area. The symptoms disappeared for a month, then came back for once or twice in the last 5 months. I checked with a doctor who ordered a barium test and an ultrasound test for the abdomenal area. The ultrasound showed a fatty liver and the barium test showed a delay of passage to the duodenum. My blood tests also showed elevated liver enzymes, elevated sugar levels (pre-diabetes) range, and high cholesterol levels in the range of 260. I just visted a different doctor and he wants me to do an endoscopy, which I am afraid that it might show some form of cancer. I am very affraid of the prospects although I have no physical signs of any problems. What are the chances that I have some kind of cancer


Answer :

Dear Patient: 
I do understand your concern. What your doctor is trying to identify by doing and endoscopy is do determine the damage to the lower end of the esophagus by the reflux. There is sometimes a change in the characteristics of the normal cells in the oesophagus wherein the normal squamous cells are replaced by columnar cells. Though there is a risk of developing cancer of the esophagus due to this change, with adequate treatment a reversal is possible. I hope the information helps, take care.


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