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Senior Health Week: Acid Reflux - Ulcers
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Acid Reflux - Ulcer News:

Surgery for Recurring Heartburn May Not Lower Esophageal Cancer Risk

Researchers said that patients who undergo surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) may not lower their risk of esophageal cancer risk or eliminate the need for antacids years later.

The study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 62 percent of those who underwent surgery to treat GERD still needed to take medications to manage their condition a decade later.

"People terrified of taking medications ought to understand surgery only gives them a 1-in-3 chance" of avoiding antacids afterward, said lead researcher Stuart Jon Spechler of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dallas.

Spechler's study involved 160 GERD patients, randomly treated with either surgery or medication.

While some earlier research suggested that surgery might lower the risk of esophageal cancer for patients with GERD, the study found equal rates between the groups.


Source: Medical Week staff, week of July 1, 2001


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