I was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus over ten years ago. Do I need an endoscopy?

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Hi. I was diagnosed with BE over ten years ago. Actually the gastro who did my scope didn't even tell me that I had BE. I found out only because a year later, his office started sending me letters telling me it was time for my annual endoscopy. I saw no need in another endoscopy (since I knew nothing about the Barrett's), plus I had no insurance. Now, all these years later my new doctor is advising me to have an endoscopy. I don't want to but I've been having heartburn out of the blue lately. I never eat spicy foods. Am I just being paranoid?? Thanks!

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  • Posted

    Yes, you need an endoscopy. A change in synlotims can indicate a change in the condition.  This must be investigated. 

    Schedule one ASAP. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you! I will consider it for sure. I just moved to a new area. I'll have to find a good gastro. Thanks again!

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  • Posted

    YES, you need an endoscopy. You need to have them routinely. Barrett’s seldom turns cancerous, but I can assure you that It does sometimes turn to cancer. The goal of routine endoscopes is to find any changes early on. Finding Stage 1 cancer is much better than not finding cancer until it’s a stage 3. The thing is, you most likely won’t have symptoms at stage 1 so you have to purposely look for it. 

    I’m writing this while waiting to be discharged from the hospital after having my esophagus removed a week ago. I’m one of the lucky ones whose cancer was found at a Stage 1. I was diagnosed with Barrett’s 30 years ago. I’ve always had the routine endoscopies. The biopsies always came back fine, until the day they didn’t.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you! I'm so sorry you lost your esophagus! But I'm thankful they found the cancer in time. I need to have the scope. Not that there's a correlation, but my mother died of breast cancer and the C gene is strong in my family. Thanks again! Hope you recover quickly, friend. ??

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  • Posted

    Thank you. I'm home now and doing very well, under the circumstances. Although breast cancer and esophageal cancer are different, they are the same in that you don't want them and you don't want the constant threat of them hanging over your head, so do what you can to prevent and watch for both.

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  • Posted

    Hi Ronna

    ?I think you should listen to your doctor and go for the endoscopy. If you don't you will never rid yourself of that nagging doubt.

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    • Posted

      I'm not really worried. I rarely even think about it. But I will do it I'm sure some day. Thank you! smile

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  • Posted

    Hi I agree with group colleagues that you should have an endoscopy, I was diagonosed with Barretts 4 years ago, and had annual endoscopes but now they have said that wont do anymore, because of cost, so I am in a different position of now thinking i should pester my GP to get one as not had one for two years, and dont know if my condition is better or worse!  It is important for peace of mind to know exactly where you are with it, and of course more fundamental if there is a progressive change so that it can be managed quickly.

    Best wishes

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  • Posted

    My motto has become "better safe than sorry".  I had silent reflux and the Barrett's was found because I was bleeding from a hiatal hernia.  It turned out I had high grade dysplasia and was about six months away from having cancer. That scared me enough that I'm willing to be scoped whenever they want.  I've had several procedures since the diagnosis.  If I would have known I had acid reflux and been checked on a regular basis, I wouldn't have had to go through this extensive treatment.

     

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    • Posted

      I agree with you, it appeared I had Barretts for a long time before diagnosed, and wasnt aware that I had acid reflux at all, I very suddenly couldnt swallow without discomfort and within a month struggled to eat, so always better to be checked, which is why I am now pushing for an endoscopy because I havent had one for 2 years.

      Best wishes

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