AR Institute of Gastroenterology

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Patient Education

How GERD Leads to Barrett's

If you have chronic acid reflux or frequent heartburn, you are at risk for a condition called Barrett's esophagus.

Barrett's esophagus is a change in the lining of the esophagus (diseased esophagus below, left), the swallowing tube that carries foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach. Left untreated, it can lead to cancer of the esophagus. About 3.3 million American adults have Barrett's. 1,9,27 With modern medical technology, they can be cured (healthy esophagus below, right).

Comparison of Barrett's esophagus (left) to that of a healthy esophagus (right)

Acid Reflux


Cancer of the Esophagus

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Acid reflux, or GERD, can damage the lining of the esophagus, leading to Barrett's esophagus

Barrett's Esophagus

Condition affecting the lining of the esophagus, Left untreated, Barrett's can lead to cancer of the esophagus

Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

A type of cancer in the esophagus. While rare, it is currently the most rapidly rising cancer in the U.S. 10, 16

*Important Reminder: This information is intended to provide general information and is not a definitive basis for diagnosis or treatment. It is very important that you consult your doctor.

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