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New Treatment at LLUMC-Murrieta Helps Prevent Esophageal Cancer

It is important for people who suffer from acid reflux to seek screening, diagnosis and treatment so the onset of esophageal cancer can be prevented or caught in early stages.

Individuals suffering the pain of Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that typically results from chronic heartburn and is a risk factor for esophageal cancer, can now find effective and precise medical care in the advanced treatment program at Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta.

Working with a Halo ablation system from Covidien, the hospital will be able to provide the most accurate diagnosis and treatment for a condition that has grown rapidly in the past 25 years. Over 3.3 million adults in the U.S. suffer from Barrett’s esophagus.

The condition occurs mostly as a result of years of acid reflux, also known as GERD. The tissue of the esophagus is significantly different than the tissue of the lining of the stomach, which can handle the intensity of stomach acid. The tender esophagus tissue, after much exposure to stomach acid, changes and can development into esophageal cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates that in each year approximately 17,000 new cases of esophageal cancer cases are diagnosed. Unfortunately esophageal cancer can be difficult to successfully treat. It is important for people who suffer from acid reflux to seek screening, diagnosis and treatment so the onset of this type of cancer can be prevented or caught in early stages.

“Many people suffer chest pain with their heartburn and the pain can mimic a heart attack,” states Dr. Indraneel “Neel” Chakrabarty, a GI physician with LLUMC-Murrieta. “As the acids come up into the esophagus, the tissues are damaged and that damage can lead to severe health problems that we can prevent if we can get to it early and utilize this new technology to alleviate pain and decrease their cancer risk.”

LLUMC-Murrieta CEO Rick Rawson said, “This new program will bring a level of care to the community that will help us lead the way in cancer prevention. Our goal is to provide the support needed for physicians in this region to accurately and efficiently treat their patients giving them access to early and effective care. We are very pleased to be offering this new program.”

To learn more about screening and treatment please call Loma Linda University Medical Center- Murrieta at 951-290-4000 and ask for the GI Lab. Information is also posted on the website for the hospital at llumcmurrieta.org.

—News release submitted by Loma Linda University Medical Center-Murrieta

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