Difficulty swallowing, heartburn, regurgitation, and other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are not only uncomfortable, they may signify a more serious condition.3
Understanding the relationship between dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and GERD, and how GERD may progress to Barrett's esophagus is the first step toward getting the right care. Early detection and treatment of Barrett's esophagus may also reduce your risk of progressing to esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), a form of esophogeal cancer.1,2
GERD or chronic acid reflux affects up to 40% of U.S. adults.1 To understand your risk, fill out our symptom tracker and discuss with your doctor.TRACK YOUR SYMPTOMS >
Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is usually a signal of a motility disorder, but it can be a symptom of GERD too.4,5
Up to 26.5% of people with chronic GERD may develop Barrett's esophagus in their lifetime.6
Barrett’s esophagus is the primary risk factor for esophageal adencarcinoma (EAC) and can increase a person’s risk by 50 times or more.8 Cancer may occur when the abnormal cells involved in Barrett’s esophagus engage in rapid and uncontrolled growth and invade the deeper layers of your esophagus.
Of those diagnosed with EAC, 82% will die within 5 years of diagnosis9 and the incidence of EAC continues to increase.10,11
Information and resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for medical advice from your doctor. Always discuss diagnosis and treatment information including risks with your doctor. Keep in mind that all treatment and outcome results are specific to the individual patient. Results may vary.
Phoa KN, van Vilsteren FG, Weusten BL, Bisschops R, Schoon EJ, Ragunath K, et al. Radiofrequency ablation vs endoscopic surveillance for patients with Barrett esophagus and low-grade dysplasia: a randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;311(12)1209-17.
Shaheen NJ, et al. Radiofrequency ablation in Barrett’s esophagus with dysplasia. N Engl J Med 2009, 360:2277-88
Vaezi M, Zehrai A, Yuksel E. Testing for refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease. ASGE Leading Edge. 2012;2(2):1-13. American Society Gastroenterology Endoscopy, Pages 1-4.
Bollschweiler E, Knoppe K, Wolfgarten E, Hölscher AH. Prevalence of dysphagia in patients with gastroesophageal reflux in Germany. Dysphagia. 2008;23(2):172-176. doi:10.1007/s00455-007-9120-5.
Patcharatrakul T, Gonlachanvit S. Gastroesophageal reflux symptoms in typical and atypical GERD: Roles of gastroesophageal acid refluxes and esophageal motility. Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. 2014;29(2):284-290. doi:10.1111/jgh.12347.
Dymedex Market Development Consulting, GERD Sizing and Segmentation for pH Testing. February 13, 2015.
Dymedex Market Development Consulting, Strategic Market Assessment: Barrx-GI, October 30, 2014.
Wani S, Falk G, Hall M, Gaddam S, Wang A, Gupta N, et al. Patients with nondysplastic Barrett’s esophagus have low risks for developing dysplasia or esophageal adenocarcinoma. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2011;9(3):220-7.
SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Esophageal Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/esoph.html (accessed December 2016).
Pohl H, Welch G et al. The role of over diagnosis and reclassification in the marked increase of esophageal adenocarcinoma incidence. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:142-6.
SEER Cancer Statistics Animator, 1975-2012. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD.