An occasional burning in the chest is called heartburn, caused by stomach acids refluxing into the esophagus. Extended exposure to heartburn may erode the lining of the esophagus potentially leading to esophageal disease such as Barrett’s esophagus, which is associated win an increased risk of adenocarcinoma. Adeno is the prefix that means “gland.” Carcinoma is a malignant tumor. Together this means a malignant tumor in the gland.
The following are additional diseases and conditions that affect the esophagus:
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Esophageal cancer
- Esophageal varices
- Hiatus hernia
Other Esophageal Diseases, but very rare:
- Achalasia – an esophageal disease where the lower esophageal sphincter is not able to relax for it to open and let food pass into the stomach.
- Diffuse esophageal spasm – is where the esophagus has uncoordinated contractions which may cause difficulty swallowing or regurgitation.
- Esophageal dysphagia – is a mechanical or motility problem in the lower sphincter with either solids or liquids, or both.