An outpatient treatment that eliminates pre-cancerous tissue in the lining of the esophagus is now available at Cartersville Medical Center. Currently, CMC is the only hospital performing the procedure in the northwest Georgia region that includes Bartow, Floyd and Gordon counties.
The procedure, endoscopic radiofrequency ablation therapy using the HALO System, was recently featured in the New England Journal of Medicine as a highly effective treatment for complete eradication of Barrett’s esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition that affects 1 to 2 million adults in the United States each year.
According to Yaman Tayara M.D., a gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Cartersville Medical Center, Barrett’s disease occurs when the esophagus is chronically exposed to gastric contents caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD.
“With prolonged exposure, normal cells in the lining of the esophagus can undergo genetic change called Intestinal Metaplasia, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer, which is on the rise in the United States,” Tayara said in a news release.
Individuals with Barrett’s esophagus have a 40 to 130 times higher incidence of developing esophageal cancer than those without the condition. Esophageal is presently the fastest growing form of cancer in the United States.
“The main purpose of the ablation procedure is to ablate, or remove the abnormal lining of the esophagus,” said Dr. Tayara. “The tissue then regenerates and normal tissue grows back. This reduces the chances of cancer developing. Data from studies shows that the treatment is highly effective. In fact, it looks very promising.”
During the procedure, an ablation catheter (HALO360 or HALO90 Ablation Catheter) is positioned on the abnormal esophageal tissue. Using the HALO Energy Generator, the physician delivers a rapid burst of ablative energy which removes a very thin layer of the disease esophagus. The procedure is performed in an outpatient setting, without incisions, and takes less than 30 minutes on average.
According to Tayara, esophageal cancer is often spread by the time symptoms present. Esophageal cancer has a five-year patient survival rate of just 16 percent.
“It usually starts with GERD, which can cause Barrett’s disease, which can lead to esophageal cancer,” Tayara said. “That’s why it’s important to seek medical treatment for symptoms of GERD, the most common being heartburn.”
For more information about Barrett’s Esophagus and the HALO Ablation Technology or for a physician referral, call MedLine at 800-242-5662 or visit CartersvilleMedical.com.
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