3 things to know about Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer screening

Colorectal cancer screening leads the cancer prevention conversation in the GI field, but other types of GI cancer are also on the rise. A new study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology examines screening for Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Here are three things to know from the study.

•    Though BE surveillance is recommended by medical societies, there are many challenges to overcome. There is a lack of an accurate and cost-effective screening tool and lack of a well-characterized screening population. There is also little evidence to demonstrate that screening will lead to improved outcomes.
•    The study author acknowledges that standard endoscopy is not the ideal screening tool, but advances have been made in the field. There are non-endoscopic techniques such as balloon cytology and imaging techniques such as wireless capsule endoscopy.
•    GERD is the strongest risk factor for BE and esophageal cancer, but a defined screening population has yet to be identified. Several studies have identified other risk factors including male sex, Caucasian race, age, obesity, smoking and family history.

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