Barrett's esophagus

Overview

What is Barrett's esophagus?

Barrett's esophagus is a disorder where normal tissue of the esophagus is replaced by tissue similar to the lining of your intestine. People with Barrett's esophagus have a higher chance to get a rare type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma, however, most people with Barrett's esophagus do not get esophageal cancer.

The esophagus is a muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach and is made of different layers. The esophagus carries food and liquids from the throat to the stomach. Cancer of the esophagus begins in cells that make the inside layer of the esophagus called the mucosa. Normally the inside layer of the esophagus is made of cells called squamous cells. In Barrett's esophagus the squamous cells that make the mucosa of the esophagus are replaced by glandular cells. Glandular cells are similar to cells that line the intestine. When cancer develops in squamous cells it is called squamous cell carcinoma, and when cancer develops in glandular cells it is called adenocarcinoma.

The diagnosis of Barrett's esophagus is usually done by a special doctor called a gastroenterologist. A gastroenterologist is a doctor with special training in treating disorders of the digestive tract and liver. To learn more about Barrett's esophagus speak with your physician, or ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist. You can also locate a gastroenterologist in your area by using the Find a Gastroenterologist tool on the American College of Gastroenterology website.

References
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Are there other names for Barrett's esophagus?

How common is Barrett's esophagus?

What is the usual abbreviation for Barrett's esophagus?

Are there other names for Barrett's esophagus?

Other names for Barrett's esophagus include:

  • Barrett ulcer
  • Barrett syndrome
  • Columnar-like esophagus
  • Chronic peptic ulcer and esophagitis syndrome
  • Esophagitis-peptic ulcer

Ask your doctor if they are using another term for Barrett's esophagus.

References
How common is Barrett's esophagus?

It is not clear how common Barrett's esophagus is; however, researchers estimate that it affects between 1.6-6.8% of people worldwide. To learn more about Barrett's esophagus talk with your doctor or gastroenterologist.

References
What is the usual abbreviation for Barrett's esophagus?

Barrett's esophagus can be abbreviated as BE. Ask your doctor if they use another abbreviation for Barrett's esophagus.

References

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