A member asked:

I have a hiatal hernia, am i more likely to get gastroesophageal cancer?

8 doctors weighed in across 5 answers
Dr. Barry Rosen answered

Specializes in General Surgery

Slightly higher risk: Barrett's esophagus are cellular changes along the lower lining of the esophagus in response to prolonged acid exposure secondary to reflux. This may be associated with pre-cancerous changes or even esophageal cancer and is believed to explain the rising incidence of these cancers in the US.

Answered 12/1/2014

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Dr. Keith Stockerl-Goldstein answered

Specializes in Hematology and Oncology

Increased risj: There is a slightly higher risk for esophageal cancer.

Answered 11/25/2012

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Dr. Nathaniel Evans III answered

Specializes in Surgery - Thoracic

Very slightly: People with hiatal hernias usually have some gastroesophageal reflux (gerd). Gerd is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. That said, nearly half of the us population has gerd and esophageal cancer although slowly increasing, remains a very rare cancer. If you have reflux you should be followed by a primary care or gastroenterologist, but it is still very unlikely that you will develop cancer.

Answered 11/27/2017

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Dr. Chad Levitt answered

Specializes in Radiation Oncology

Barrets esophagus: By definition barrett's esophagus is a form of metaplasia, which is a change in the normal cell type in that portion of the esophagus. It is caused by continual exposure to gastric acid (reflux) into the esophagus and it is the esophagus's way of trying to protect itself for the damaging acid in our stomach. It can lead to cancer and needs to be watched closely. Hiatal hernia can cause reflux.

Answered 12/9/2013

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Dr. Dan Lister answered

Specializes in General Surgery

Yes: Chronic reflux is the main cause of esophageal adenocarcinoma. It is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. Hiatal hernias tend to make reflux worse. The important thing is to have an endoscopy to get checked.

Answered 3/22/2020

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