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Grinnell, IA
A male asked:

I had a total esophagectomy 4 years ago due to acid reflux. i still have acid reflux to this day even worse .can i get throat cancer from the reflux ?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
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Oesophageal cancer: Acid reflux causes stomach acid to splash up and into the lower portion of your esophagus. While your stomach has a lining that protects it from the acid, your esophagus doesn’t. This means that the acid can cause damage to the tissue cells in your esophagus and throat. Sometimes the tissue damage from acid reflux can lead to a a marginally higher risk of developing oesophageal and throat cancer.
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Dr. Andrew Seibert
Gastroenterology 37 years experience
Very unlikely: If the entire esophagus was removed, the chances of getting Barretts esophagus from the continued reflux is very unlikely. Having said that, if you are still having symptoms, it bears periodic evaluation to see how severe the inflammation is. You also should be treating the reflux to keep the symptoms under control. Good luck.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Hiroshi Mashimo
Gastroenterology 35 years experience
total esophagectomy for reflux alone is rare unless complicated by severe ulceration/perforation and or bleeding, or in background of prior serious injury (e.g. chemical, alcohol) or radiation. Be sure to get proper followup to rule out underlying cause of possible acid overproduction. Both acid and bile potentially sitting now much closer to throat (assuming gastric pull-up) indeed increases chances of throats cancer, but there is no current established protocol for routinely screening for cancer. I would discuss w your physician re symptoms and need for ENT specialist esp. if any symptoms such as change in voice/hoarseness and cough. ResTech or multichannel pH testing are studies that could help define type, severity, and timing of any reflux into throat area and help optimize your present management. Be sure no smoking and minimize alcohol if any.
Jun 6, 2017

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Last updated Nov 28, 2017


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