For women with sensitive digestive systems eating spicy tacos or greasy pepperoni pizza, can be a sure way to flare up a nasty case of heartburn. Millions of Americans experience heartburn symptoms at least once a week. There are many causes that can activate heartburn including medications, specific foods, obesity, and even stress. Being aware of what ignites your heartburn will help you to create a plan to avoid the uncomfortable condition. Silver Cross Hospital is offering a lecture on why it’s important to find relief from heartburn to prevent the acid reflux from escalating.
Dr. Kamran Ayub, Medical Director of the Advanced Endoscopy Center at Silver Cross Hospital, will present a free program on Burning Your Heartburn & Preventing Esophageal Cancer, on Tuesday, April 14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Silver Cross Hospital, Pavilion A, Conference Center, 1890 Silver Cross Blvd., New Lenox. This program is for people who suffer from chronic or severe heartburn. Dr. Ayub will discuss the latest endoscopic treatments to eliminate chronic heartburn and prevent Barrett’s Esophagus, which can lead to cancer. Register to attend at www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).
Heartburn Can Lead to Esophageal Cancer
Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation in the chest after a heavy meal or while bending over, lying on your back or lifting. It occurs when the sphincter doesn’t close completely. Acid from the stomach comes back up into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation. Other symptoms may include chronic cough or sore throat, persistent hiccups, feeling of having a lump in the throat, and trouble swallowing. Pregnant women often experience heartburn as the growing fetus increases intra-abdominal pressure.
Heartburn that won’t go away needs medical attention because it may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), pill or medication induced esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, cancer of the esophagus, ulcers, or other gastrointestinal problems. Chest pain, for instance, can be a symptom of GERD, esophageal spasm, angina and heart attack. Pain from any of these can happen following a large meal.
“So, if you suffer severe or chronic heartburn or chest pain, it’s vital you find out if your problem is digestive or cardiac,” says Dr. Ayub.
For a person with Barrett’s esophagus, which is a change in the lining of the tube (esophagus) that carries food and liquids in the mouth to the stomach, Dr. Ayub says the risk of developing esophageal cancer is similar to the risk of developing colon cancer for patients who have a colon polyp. “It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’ esophagus and lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Ayub. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”
About 3.3 million Americans age 50 and older have Barrett’s. With advanced technology, Barrett’s can be successfully treated at Silver Cross Hospital.