March 1, 2024

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Alarming increase in esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus rates in middle-aged patients

Alarming increase in esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus rates in middle-aged patients


Scientists find alarming increase in esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus rates in middle-aged patients.

Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the esophagus, the long, empty tube that connects the throat to the stomach.

The esophagus helps transport the food you eat to your stomach, where it will be digested.

Esophageal cancer usually starts in the cells inside the esophagus. However, it can also occur anywhere in the esophagus.

Esophageal cancer is the sixth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. The incidence of the disease varies depending on where you live.

Tobacco and alcohol use, along with certain dietary habits and obesity, may be associated with a greater risk of esophageal cancer.


Alarming increase in esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus rates in middle-aged patients



The incidence of esophageal cancer in adults aged 45 to 64 nearly doubled between 2012 and 2019, with precancerous lesions in the bar Incidence of Rett’s esophagus increased by 50%.


“This strong increase in prevalence should be of concern to physicians, and if middle-aged patients are at higher risk, we should consider more screening for esophageal cancer in them,” said the study’s lead author, associate professor of medicine at the University of Florida and an associate professor of medicine at the University of Florida. said Bashar J. Qumseya, Chief of Endoscopy.

“Whenever we see an increase in the incidence of any type of cancer, we should ask if it’s just due to better screening, or if it’s a real increase in disease incidence. In our study, it’s due to the latter.”

The researchers examined esophagus, stomach, and duodenoscopy (EGD) rates throughout this time period and found no evidence of an increase that might explain the prevalence data.

EGD is a diagnostic procedure that examines the esophagus, stomach, and the first part of the small intestine (duodenum).


Esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus are most common among older white men, with the highest prevalence among those over 65, according to the study.

However, the researchers found that the incidence of cancer in the 45- to 64-year-old age group roughly doubled, from 49 to 94 per 100,000 people, while the frequency of Barrett’s esophagus increased roughly 50 percent, from every 100,000 people. 304 out of 100,000 people rose to 466.


Esophageal cancer, usually detected by endoscopy, is often a silent “killer” with few symptoms before it becomes advanced.

Barrett’s esophagus — the primary precursor lesion to esophageal adenocarcinoma that begins in glandular cells lining the esophagus — is primarily caused by chronic acid reflux.

Other risk factors include advanced age, male gender, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption.


Middle-aged patients with multiple risk factors would benefit from earlier or more frequent screening, Dr. Qumseya said, comparing it to the benefits of early colorectal cancer screening.

“Many patients in the U.S. now have colonoscopies starting at age 45, so having endoscopy at the same time, in patients with multiple risk factors, could help catch more patients with Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer, “He says.


“From our other analyses with this dataset, we know that even patients with four or more risk factors for esophageal cancer did not undergo endoscopy,” he added. “So, from a patient and provider perspective, we can do better.”


The study was a cross-sectional analysis of electronic health record (EHR) data from the OneFlorida Clinical Data Research Network, which covers more than 40 percent of Florida residents.


The researchers analyzed records by three age groups: 18 to 44, 45 to 64, and 65+. Further analysis of the database is underway and final results should be available within the next six months.


Dr. Qumseya noted several limitations of the study: It only included adults living in Florida, so it’s not necessarily representative of the U.S. population.

It is not a randomized controlled trial that follows a group of patients over a long period of time. Also, as with any database, there can be issues with the data itself. The electronic medical records analyzed were of patients who visited a hospital or doctor’s office, so the database did not say whether they had an illness at the time of their visit, or whether the condition had resolved.


In the final analysis, the team plans to revisit the database to try to differentiate between two types of esophageal cancer — adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, which usually affects the lower esophagus, and squamous cell carcinoma, which affects the upper esophagus.




Alarming increase in esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus rates in middle-aged patients

(source:internet, reference only)

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Important Note: The information provided is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice.