The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment. Screening tests are administered to people who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions, but do not have any symptoms.
There are no standard tests or current guidelines for esophageal cancer screening. However, if you have Barrett’s esophagus, a change in the cells just above your stomach from acid reflux, your doctor will periodically check for cancer development in the esophagus. An upper GI endoscopy allows the doctor to examine the esophagus and collect tissue samples to examine under a microscope. Testing frequency depends on the grade of change in the cells (low or high grade dysplasia).
Esophagus cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at
http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003098-pdf.pdf. Accessed December 10, 2015.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
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