Fort Worth Texas Gastroenterology

APRIL IS ESOPHAGEAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Your esophagus is the hollow, muscular tube which connects to your throat to your stomach. It is roughly 20 cm long and allows swallowed food, liquids and pills to pass from your mouth into your stomach. Esophageal cancer develops when some of the cells lining the esophagus turn malignant/cancerous. It is estimated that approximately 17,000 people will develop esophageal cancer this year and that there will be approximately 15,000 esophageal cancer-related deaths. The lifetime risk of developing esophageal cancer is ~ 1 in 130 men and ~ 1 in 450 women.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE RISK FACTORS FOR DEVELOPING ESOPHAGEAL CANCER?

  • Age greater than 55 (only 15% of esophageal cancers are found in individuals less than 55 years old)
  • Male gender (Men outnumber women by almost 4 to 1)
  • Longstanding issues with GERD
  • A history of Barrett’s Esophagus
  • Frequent and long-term tobacco use
  • Frequent and long-term alcohol use
  • Obesity

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE POTENTIAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ESOHAGEAL CANCER?

While having any of the symptoms listed below does not necessarily indicate an individual has esophageal cancer, it is important to have these symptoms evaluated and treated.

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Painful swallowing
  • Chest pain that has been determined to be non-cardiac in nature (not related to the heart)
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Chronic, unexplained coughing
  • Hoarseness
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained anemia

TESTING FOR ESOPHAGEAL CANCER

One of the most common tests used to evaluate individuals at risk for esophageal cancer is upper endoscopy (also known as an “EGD”: Esophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy). This test involves taking a small, flexible tube (commonly referred to as an endoscope) and gently advancing it through the patient’s mouth into their upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and first portion of the small bowel). The endoscope contains a small camera and light at its tip which allows for direct visualization of the tissue in the upper gastrointestinal. Additionally, the endoscope also contains a small port through which biopsy forceps can be passed for tissue sampling. The procedure is typically performed under anesthesia and lasts less than 30 minutes.

If you have any of the signs, symptoms or risk factors listed above, please feel free to schedule an appointment with us to discuss your concerns and schedule further testing. All of our physicians are board-certified in gastroenterology and perform upper endoscopies regularly. We look forward to seeing you.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

OUR PHYSICIANS

Northeast Tarrant Gastroenterology Associates is comprised of Dr. Mark Murray, Dr. Eric Hill and Dr. Bryan Ong. They are all board-certified gastroenterologists who are also members of Digestive Health Associates of Texas (DHAT). They have two convenient office locations in Northeast Tarrant County (North Richland Hills and Ft. Worth) to serve your gastroenterology needs. They offer specialized services supporting the full spectrum of digestive healthcare, including screening colonoscopy. 

 

Mark Murray MDDr. Mark Murray earned his undergraduate degree at Texas A&M University and his M.D. degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. He completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He received his gastroenterology fellowship training at St. Louis University.

 

 

Eric Hill, MDDr. Eric Hill earned his undergraduate degree at Baylor University and his M.D. degree at the University of Oklahoma. He completed his internal medicine residency training at Vanderbilt University. He received his gastroenterology fellowship training at the University of South Florida.

 

 

 

Bryan Ong, MDDr. Bryan Ong earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and his M.D. degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He also completed his internal medicine residency training at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and received his gastroenterology fellowship training at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center.

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