Esophageal Cancer Revisited

CRAIN'S COMMENTS

Lost in the clutter, a new study based on diagnostic records for Floridians has identified a massive increase in both esophageal cancer and Barrett’s Syndrome, the precursor to esophageal cancer, between 2012 and 2019. The increase is among middle aged Americans, defined as between 45 and 64 years of age.

  • The number of cases diagnosed with esophageal cancer increased by 91% in that time period. In hard numbers, per 100,000 people, cases rose from 49 to 94.
  • Diagnoses of Barrett’s rose in the same time frame by 35%, from 304 to 466 per 100,000.(1)

This matters because the 5-year survival rate for esophageal cancer isn’t good. Further, by the time a person realizes that their might be a problem in their esophagus, usually from difficultly swallowing, the cancer will be at an advanced stage.

The five year survival rates for this cancer, compared to a person without this cancer, are

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