WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of GERD Awareness Week, Capital Digestive Care wants to increase awareness about the importance of screening for GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, a condition that can lead to precancerous conditions in the esophagus. November 18 – 24 has been designated as National GERD Awareness Week.
Last year alone, Capital Digestive Care treated more than 14,000 patients with symptoms of GERD. But more must be done. Our goal at Capital Digestive Care is to ensure that patients are aware that frequent heartburn can be a sign of reflux disease, and that early detection is the key to preventing the disease from escalating into a more serious condition. Often, individuals with frequent heartburn "mask" their symptoms with over-the-counter medications. Capital Digestive Care hopes to encourage patients not to ignore or cover up their symptoms and be screened for reflux disease. While over-the-counter and prescription medications can "mask" GERD's symptoms and reduce the acid causing the problem, the underlying condition can persist and can lead to more serious disorders like cancer. That's why screening is so important.
GERD is a condition in which food or liquid in the stomach leak backwards into the esophagus, irritating the esophagus and causing heartburn and other problems. Over time, it can lead to Barrett's esophagus, a precancerous condition where the makeup of the tissue that lines the lower esophagus changes and if not detected or treated, can eventually develop into esophageal cancer. It's estimated that GERD affects approximately 20% of the U.S. population.
There are several ways to detect GERD, and Capital Digestive Care is proud to offer them all and customize the test based on the patient's needs and symptoms.
"We are proud to be a leader in this field, using innovation to help diagnose and treat GERD," said Dr. Lawrence Bassin, Gastroenterologist, Capital Digestive Care. "Many people don't realize they have GERD, dismissing it as heartburn and considering it harmless. As a GERD sufferer myself, I understand the importance of early detection and treatment, so the problem doesn't become cancer later. GERD Awareness Week is the perfect time to let people know not to ignore persistent heartburn, as it could be a sign of something more serious."
About Capital Digestive Care
Capital Digestive Care is a group of 56 physicians unified across the Washington Metropolitan Area in their desire to advance the delivery of care for patients suffering from all types of digestive health conditions. Capital Digestive Care offers the greatest collective experience in the area along with the most accessible care. The group's physicians practice at 16 office locations and are affiliated with 15 hospitals and 8 outpatient endoscopy centers, where more than 30,000 colonoscopies are performed each year. For more information, please visit www.capitaldigestivecare.com.
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SOURCE Capital Digestive Care