Tue, Sep 04, 2012 - Page 11 News List

Years of heartburn turns into esophageal cancer
火燒心多年變成食道腺癌

Lee Chi-fang, a doctor in Keelung General Hospital’s Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, gestures and explains the symptoms of acid reflux in Keelung on Aug. 29.
署立基隆醫院肝膽腸胃科醫師李齊芳八月二十九日在基隆以手勢解釋胃酸逆流的症狀。

Photo: Wu Liang-yi, Liberty Times
照片: 自由時報記者吳亮儀

A 40-year-old businessman from Keelung who often drank stimulating beverages such as coffee and tea and who was also a smoker, had been plagued with gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux, or heartburn) for several years. Several days ago, he was having trouble swallowing and felt like something was stuck in his upper abdomen, so he decided to see a doctor. After conducting a biopsy, they discovered that he had esophageal cancer.

Lee Chi-fang, a doctor at Keelung General Hospital’s Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, says that the patient is a typical office worker, but that he was under a lot of stress and was smoking a lot of cigarettes and relying on coffee and tea to pep himself up. After suffering from acid reflux and inflammation in the lining of his esophagus for many years, the condition only worsened because it was left untreated.

Lee also says that abnormal living habits, not watching one’s diet, eating too many spicy, oily or fried foods, chocolate and things containing caffeine, are all likely to cause the sphincter in the esophagus to loosen and lose its ability to tighten and block acid from coming up after eating, which is what causes acid reflux. The doctor says that if you feel a burning sensation in your chest several times a week, wake up during the night in pain, or are suddenly losing weight and have black stool, you should see a gastroenterology and hepatology specialist as soon as possible and not put off treatment. People with obesity, or who are pregnant, or have diabetes are more prone to acid reflux.

Lee suggests that people with acid reflux avoid bending over too much right after finishing a meal. He says that they should also wait three to four hours before laying down to go to bed, and that it is better to sleep on their left side. Raising the head of the bed slightly also helps control reflux, Lee says.

TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字

1. smoker n.

吸菸者 (xi1 yan1 zhe3)

例: About a third of the global male population are smokers, and smoking-related diseases kill one in 10 adults every year.

(全球男性人口中有三分之一是抽菸者,且每年有一成的成年人死於抽菸有關的疾病。)

2. biopsy n.

切片檢查法 (qie1 pian4 jian3 cha2 fa3)

例: A biopsy usually involves a pathologist examining tissue under a microscope.

(用切片檢查法時,病理學醫師通常會透過顯微鏡檢查組織。)

3. pep up v. phr.

提神 (ti2 shen2)

例: Julia drank three espressos to pep her up so she wouldn’t fall asleep during the test.

(茱莉亞喝了三杯濃縮咖啡提神,避免考試時睡著。)


Lee also says that the most important thing is to pay attention to controlling one’s weight because being overweight is one of the main causes of acid reflux.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

基隆市一名四十歲的上班族常喝咖啡、茶等刺激性飲料,又有菸癮,多年來受胃酸逆流(火燒心)所苦,日前症狀加劇、吞嚥食物時感到上腹部「卡卡的」,就診經切片檢查後,發現是食道腺癌!

署立基隆醫院肝膽腸胃科醫師李齊芳指出,這名病患是標準的上班族,但平常工作壓力大、常抽菸放鬆,又依賴咖啡、茶類等刺激性飲料來提神,多年來有慢性胃食道逆流問題,導致食道發炎又沒治療,造成病情惡化。

李齊芳說,生活作息不正常、飲食不節制、過量攝取辛辣油炸食物、巧克力或含咖啡因的食物,都可能造成食道括約肌放鬆,導致胃酸逆流;若一週有好幾次胸口灼熱不舒服、晚上痛醒,甚至體重減輕及黑便的狀況,最好盡快到腸胃科檢查,以免延誤治療時間,甚至肥胖或懷孕、糖尿病患也容易患有胃食道逆流。

李齊芳建議,胃食道逆流患者在用餐後,應避免長時間彎腰,三到四小時後才可以上床躺平,且盡量別躺向右側;把床頭升高也可以讓重力幫助對抗逆流。

李齊芳說,最重要就是注意體重控制,因過重是胃食道逆流最危險致病因子。

(自由時報記者吳亮儀)

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