Checking Out Genetic Links to Ensure Early Detection of Esophageal Cancer

A recent breakthrough has been found on cases of patients suffering from esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus. This study was funded by the American Cancer Society in which the findings have been published in the American Medical Association journal. More specifically, the findings showed that there are mutations in three genes for people suffering from esophageal adenocarcinoma and Barrett’s esophagus, a kind of cancer in the esophagus. There were no mutations in patients who didn’t have Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. This study was performed in 16 centers in and around the United States between 2005 and 2010, of which 298 participants have been involved.

Looking at the implications of the findings of this study, the future is a little bit brighter. If ever you’ve got a history of esophageal cancer, it wouldn’t only be markers like gender, obesity, age, diet and lifestyle that determines your risk for esophageal cancer. Through screening of these mutations in three genes, esophageal cancer or Barrett’s esophagus can be detected at the earliest time possible. This also opens up the possibilities of getting treatment for the disease before it gets worse.

Today, people suffering from Barrett’s esophagus get regular endoscopy to see if there are any signs of a tumor or cancer. About 10% who have undergone this diagnostic test did show any sign of esophageal cancer development.

The discovery of the three gene mutations is just the beginning in the improvement of detection and treatment of esophageal cancer and Barrett’s esophagus. When you’re out shopping for healthcare coverage and you have someone in your family who has esophageal cancer, there might soon be a better way for you to determine if you have it. Through early detection and early treatment, you have a better chance to recover from it especially if you have health insurance coverage to financially back you up.

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