Stamford, CT / September 27, 2022 – Stamford Health’s Heartburn, Reflux and Esophageal Specialty Center has announced it is the first in Connecticut to offer a new, early screening procedure for esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer, while still rare, is the fastest growing cancer diagnosis in the U.S. and is often deadly when left undetected. There are several risk factors for esophageal cancer, and patients suffering from frequent heartburn or acid reflux are at a higher risk.
“Approximately 1 in 4 U.S. adults suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)” said Michael Ebright, M.D. Thoracic Surgeon and Director of the Esophageal Center at Stamford Health. “Because symptoms are well managed by over-the-counter medications like proton pump inhibitors, patients are often unaware that there are serious long-term consequences, including esophageal cancer. This new screening technology will expand access for potentially lifesaving early screening for patients.”
Esophageal cancer can be treated successfully if it is found early through screening. Previously, the only screening method was endoscopy, a procedure which requires anesthesia. This new screening technology through Lucid Diagnostics, called EsoGuard, can identify pre-cancerous cells (often linked to a condition called Barrett’s Esophagus) that can be effectively eradicated through an outpatient procedure called ablation. “We are always excited to provide our community with the latest advances in preventive medicine,” said Gaurav Ghosh, M.D., gastroenterologist and esophageal specialist at Stamford Health. “With more options for screening, we can ensure our patients are receiving the best and most personalized care.”
Esophageal screening is recommended for patients who have chronic GERD symptoms and three or more of the following risk factors for esophageal cancer: male, age 50+, white race, obesity, smoker and family history of Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer. “The EsoGuard screening test is easily performed at the time of an office visit, takes only 2 minutes to complete, and allows for effective risk-stratification of our patients with chronic GERD symptoms,” said Shannon Morales, M.D., gastroenterologist at Stamford Health, who performed the first series of screening tests. Stamford Health will be offering the procedure through the Stamford Health Medical Group Gastroenterology office located in the Tully Health Center and the Wilton Surgical Center.
Stamford Health’s Heartburn, Reflux and Esophageal Specialty Center is a multidisciplinary center dedicated to adult esophageal disorders and includes a team of gastroenterologists, thoracic surgeons, pulmonologists, and otolaryngologists committed to treating patients with heartburn, reflux and other problems associated with the esophagus. If you or a loved one has frequent heartburn or wants to learn more about esophageal cancer screening and services offered through the specialty center visit www.stamfordhealth.org/care-treatment/heartburn-reflux-esophageal-specialty-center/ or call 203.276.4373.
About Stamford Health
Stamford Health is a non-profit independent healthcare system with more than 3,700 employees committed to caring for the community through a wide range of high-quality health and wellness services. Patients and their families receive expert, compassionate care through the system’s 305-bed Stamford Hospital; Stamford Health Medical Group, with more than 40 offices in lower Fairfield County offering primary and specialty care; a growing number of ambulatory locations across the region; and support through the Stamford Hospital Foundation.
Stamford Health is known for its expert, person-centered care through its many recognitions and partnerships. Stamford Hospital is the only hospital in Fairfield County, CT to receive a grade of ‘A’ from The Leapfrog Group, an independent watchdog organization for protecting patient safety. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rated Stamford Hospital as a five-star hospital for Overall Quality. U.S. News & World Report has recognized Stamford Hospital as a “High Performing” Hospital. The American Nurses Credentialing Center has granted Stamford Hospital Magnet Status, which recognizes superior patient care with the highest level of safety, quality and patient satisfaction. Stamford Health is Planetree Gold-Certified for Excellence in Person-Centered Care and is a Certified™ Great Place to Work. Stamford Hospital is the only hospital in Connecticut to concurrently hold these achievements
Stamford Health is also a major teaching affiliate of the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and has expanded its relationship with Columbia in 2021 to offer treatment and expertise from Columbia University Irving Medical Center’s nationally recognized heart surgeons. Stamford Health and Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have created a premier center for specialty orthopedic care in Stamford and have recently opened secondary locations in Harbor Point and Westport. Additionally, in 2020 Stamford Health’s Carl & Dorothy Bennett Cancer Center entered into an expanded collaboration with Dana-Farber Brigham Cancer Center.
Dedicated to being the community’s most trusted healthcare partner, Stamford Health puts patients first to build long-lasting relationships. For more information, visit StamfordHealth.org. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.