Q: My dad died from stage four esophageal cancer a little over a year ago. He had been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus. My question is Barrett’s esophagus hereditary? Could having Barrett’s esophagus have caused his cancer?
A: Barrett’s esophagus is an abnormal change in the lining of the distal end of the esophagus (food tube). Because it appears at the end of the esophagus closest to the stomach, reflux is thought to be the cause. However, Barrett’s is found in patients who may or may not have reflux symptoms. Unfortunately, no reliable way to determine which patients with Barrett’s esophagus will go on to develop cancer is available. Also, no data shows it could be hereditary.
The risk of developing esophageal cancer is highest in the United States in white males over the age of 50 with more than 5 years of symptoms which can include trouble swallowing, weight loss, and pain. Treatment for esophageal cancer can range from surgery, to radiation, to chemotherapy, to possibly all three.
Dr. Kris Gast, Susan Bules and her husband Chuck, and Kim Vann and her family members all attended the Girls Shelter of Fort Smith Polar Bear Walk on Saturday, January 12th. FSRO was proud to be one of the sponsors of this walk. The walk raised over $3400 for the shelter. Kim Vann, FSRO medical dosimetrist, who is also a board member for the Girls Shelter was event chair for the walk.
A: Most kidney cancers are silent, which means the cancer causes no symptoms. If the patient has a CAT scan of their abdomen for some other illness, kidney cancer may be found accidentally. Possible symptoms of kidney cancer can be blood in the urine or flank or side pain. However, since recognizable symptoms are usually lacking, some patients may present to their doctor with symptoms of pain in other areas of the body signifying that the cancer has spread, called metastasis. This pain may suggest that the kidney cancer has metastasized into the bone.