The Indiana Regional Medical Center yesterday announced a new service: an outpatient procedure that destroys precancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus.
The treatment – called endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy – uses a method called the BARXX Halo System to eradicate Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that affects one to two million adults in the United States every year.
Gastroenterologist Dr. Shirish Amin says the condition is a result of chronic exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid stemming from gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can cause a genetic change in the tissue and make the esophagus 40 to 130 times more susceptible to cancer.
Dr. Mary Ann Barnicle likens it to the chances of a person with polyps in the colon developing colon cancer. She says esophageal cancer is especially troublesome because it is frequently discovered only in its advanced stages, leading to a five-year recovery rate of just 16 percent.
Dr. Barnicle will discuss the new treatment at an educational session in September. You may register by calling the Institute for Healthy Living at 357-8088. For information or a brochure on the condition and the new treatment, call IRMC at 357-7000.