Healthier Me: Why Your Heartburn Could Be More Serious Than You - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Healthier Me: Why Your Heartburn Could Be More Serious Than You Think

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If you've ever had heartburn, you know how uncomfortable it can be.  But did you know it could also be a sign of a more serious medical condition? It can be linked to an increased risk in esophageal cancer.

Sanford Health Doctor Oksana Ananda says heartburn is more common than most people would think. She says about 50% of us have it once a month, and 1/4 of us suffer weekly. 

Heartburn is that feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain that often starts in the upper abdomen just beneath the lower breastbone. Doctors say there are a lot of therapies. Sanford Health in Fargo even has surgeries that can cure it. They say it isn't something you have to live with and it's something you should talk to your doctor about, because it could lead to some serious problems. 

Dr. Oksana Anand says, "heartburn or acid reflux is a wolf in sheep-skin clothing, because it is not benign." She says, "it predisposes a person to several complications.

Some of those complications include burning, inflammation, ulcers and even esophageal cancer. It's one of the most rapidly rising cancers in the U.S..The survival rate if diagnosed is typically only five years. It's definitely a good reason to talk to your doctor about your heartburn.

*Remember --- sometimes symptoms of heartburn and symptoms of a heart attack may feel the same. Doctors say it is always best to seek medical attention, so you can rule out the worst.

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