Heartburn. Acid reflux. Barrett’s esophagus. Cancer. Apparently if you have heartburn regularly and/or episodes of acid reflux, it weakens your esophagus into a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. If you have Barrett’s esophagus, you are very susceptible to cancer. Well, I’ve had heartburn off and on but nothing I would have considered a problem – Alka Seltzer or Tums after a big spicy dinner – pretty normal. As to acid reflux, I have had an occasional issue but not frequent – mostly when I’d eaten and drank too much and went to sleep on my back. Acid reflux wakes you from a sound sleep in a most painful manner. But even then I didn’t think it happened frequently enough to constitute a problem worth doing anything about.
Men are more susceptible than women and Hispanic men are at the highest risk. If you suffer from heartburn and/or acid reflux, get an endoscopy exam. An endoscopy is much more pleasant than the one that goes in the other end. It requires no preparation other than skipping breakfast and is painless (they give you a sedative). The key to successful cancer treatment is to catch it early.
PET scan tomorrow. Meeting at church tonight. I still feel good and, if it weren’t so cold outside, I’d go work in the yard. Thanks again for all the e-mails and phone calls.