What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a sensation of burn on the chest. It usually becomes worse when sleeping or lying down. Almost everyone occasionally experiences this sensation.
Heartburn management depends mainly on eating healthy, adopting a healthy lifestyle, and using some medications. Sometimes this burning sensation affects
the life of the patient in which the patient needs to seek medical consultation as soon as possible to manage this condition.
How are heartburn and colon cancer related?
All of us occasionally experience a mild degree of heartburn, but some people experiences this sensation almost all the time. Having severe prolonged form
of heartburn may be an early sign of more serious disease in the digestive tract system including colon cancer. If you have severe form of heartburn that is not
responding well to lifestyle changes and medications, you have to consult your doctor as soon as possible to investigate the real cause of your persistent
Heartburn is described by the patient as a sensation of burning in the chest. It becomes worse when sleeping, lying down, or bending forward. It may disappear
within minutes or persist for many hours. Following are the most common symptoms of heartburn:
- Sensation of burn in the chest,
- Sensation of pressure in the middle of the chest,
- Sensation of a food in the throat,
- Sensation of acid taste in the mouth,
- Sensation of discomfort after eating.
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Chronic untreated heartburn due to reflex of acidic content from the
stomach up to the esophagus leads to irritation of the esophageal
tissues. This chronic irritation may eventually change the esophageal
cellular tissues to be more resistant in a highly acidity environment
compare to a natural condition environment. This is known as Barrett’s
esophagus which is a precancerous disease in the esophagus due to
overexposure to acids. Having Barrette’s esophagus increases the risk
of esophageal cancer.
Heartburn is a very common condition among people. Having untreated
heartburn for a long period of time will increase the risk of having multiple
complications, the most important of them is Barrett’s esophagus.
How to protect yourself from getting esophageal cancer due to chronic heartburn?
It’s very important to treat your heartburn according to your doctor recommendations. Don’t use over the counter medications without
the doctor’s consultation.
If you have chronic heartburn, it’s essential to do regular endoscopy for your upper digestive tract in order to detect any early changes
in the esophagus which may be precancerous. The physician usually takes biopsies during endoscopy from any suspicious tissues.
Many immediate therapeutic procedures are available for treatments of any suspicious area. Those procedures are known as ablation;
they include freezing of the suspicious area or even burning it.