Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute | Esophageal Cancer

Cancer of the esophagus is becoming more common, but awareness of the risk is only now starting to grow.

Over the counter medications for heartburn and acid reflux often mask its symptoms while acid erosion of the esophagus persists. Endoscopy can identify patients at high risk of developing esophageal cancer, and a new technique called Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) can prevent its progression. Hartford Hospital is second only to Massachusetts General in performing the most RFA procedures in New England.

Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy

Our patients at Hartford Hospital now have access to minimally invasive esophagectomy for treatment of their esophageal cancer. This technique allows us to remove tumors through keyhole-sized incisions. Patients feel less pain, and are able to go home and back to their families more quickly.

Barret’s Esophagus

Endoscopy screening for esophageal cancer before it becomes symptomatic is key. As many as 10% of patients with acid reflux may have Barret’s Esophagus, a precancerous condition with few noticeable symptoms. Screening for this condition is available at any of our four gastro intestinal endoscopy locations: at Hartford Hospital, in West Hartford’s Blue Back Square, in Bloomfield and Glastonbury.

Radio Frequency Ablation (RFA) Treatment

This new procedure can prevent Barret’s esophagus from progressing to esophageal cancer. Hartford Hospital performs the most RFA procedures in Connecticut. We have all the expertise and experience you need to treat Barret’s esophagus.

Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer

Obesity, poor diet, alcohol use and chronic reflux may all contribute to the development of Barret’s esophagus and esophageal cancer. As many as 40% of Americans have heartburn once a month and 7% may have it weekly. New national educational campaigns are increasing awareness that esophageal cancer is on the rise and heartburn is a cause not to ignore. Over the counter medications for heartburn can mask symptoms of esophageal cancer. Patients need to be aware of red flags including:

  • age over 50
  • experiencing trouble swallowing
  • losing significant weight

These signal a need for medical attention and endoscopic screening.​​

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