Health Watch - Cancer Advances: Freezing Esophageal Cancer

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


Researchers are constantly working on better ways to prevent, predict and treat cancer. This week on Health Watch, we’ll look at some recent advances in cancer research. Cancer of the esophagus can start with damage done by chronic heartburn. Stomach acid that flows up into the esophagus can damage cells, making them more likely to become cancerous.

Now doctors can freeze those cells so that they fall off, which allows normal cells to replace them. Dr. Jayaprakash Sreenarasimhaiah, a gastroenterologist at
UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the procedure is similar to that used by dermatologists to freeze and remove warts. The procedure uses tubes inserted through the mouth into the esophagus and requires anesthesia, but it is much less invasive than surgery. Patients can even eat normally the day the procedure is done. This procedure is new and only a few medical centers in the U.S. currently have doctors qualified to do it.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/cancercenter  to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical services in cancer treatment.

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February 2009

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