Got GERD? Read new warnings about having esophageal cancer screening

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As Reuters Health and many others are reporting, the American College of Physicians has issued new guidelines on esophageal cancer screening.  Excerpt:

“(The group) recommended limiting esophageal cancer screening to people with chronic heartburn who have additional, more severe symptoms.

Known as upper endoscopy, the screening procedure is often used to diagnose and manage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – which can be tied to a higher risk of esophageal cancer.

But some of that use may be unnecessary, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said – adding costs and putting patients at risk of side effects without evidence of a clear benefit.

“Not every patient with GERD who comes in should be getting this procedure done,” said Dr. Amir Qaseem, ACP’s director of clinical policy, who co-wrote the guidelines.

“It’s a low-risk procedure, but every procedure carries risk of complications,” he told Reuters Health.”

The newly published clinical guidelines, “Upper Endoscopy for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Best Practice Advice From the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians,” appear in the Annals of Internal Medicine.


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