Specialist expertise: Acid Reflux, Barrett’s Oesophagus, Colonoscopy, Early Cancer Detection, Endoscopic Ultrasound, Gastroenterology, Upper Gastrointestinal Disorders, Gastrointestinal Medicine, Gastrointestinal Specialty, Endoscopy, Bowel Cancer Screening, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Diarrhoea, HALO Radiofrequency Ablation, Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection, Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy, Endoscopic Mucosal Resection, Colonic Polyps, Abnormal Liver Function, Achalasia, Constipation, Gastrointestinal Cancer.
The oesophagus (or esophagus) is part of the digestive system, and is a long, muscular tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. It is also known as the gullet or food pipe.
Barrett’s oesophagus occurs where the normal cells lining of the oesophagus have changed and have been replaced with abnormal cells. In some people, the cells of Barrett’s oesophagus become more abnormal. This is known as dysplasia, which is a pre-cancer.
In the UK, a small number of people (3-13%) with Barrett’s oesophagus will develop oesophageal cancer. This is a rare type of cancer called oesophageal adenocarcinoma.
People with high-grade dysplasia in Barrett’s oesophagus have a high risk of getting oesophagus cancer. The pre-cancerous cells of dysplasia are classified into 2 grades, low grade and high grade, based on how abnormal the cells appear under the microscope in a biopsy.
People with low-grade dysplasia in Barrett’s oesophagus have an increased risk of oesophagus cancer but most do not go on to get this cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with Barrett’s oesophagus, then your gastroenterologist (GI specialist) may recommend that you have regular examinations to watch out for signs of dysplasia.