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Anti-Reflux Surgery Not Seen to Prevent Esophageal Cancers

Study finds the surgery also does not decrease risk of cardia adenocarcinomas

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- Contrary to arguments supporting the theory that anti-reflux surgery prevents the subsequent development of esophageal and cardia cancers, it does not appear to have any such preventive benefit, according to research published in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

Jesper Lagergren, M.D., of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues conducted a population-based cohort study of 14,102 patients who underwent anti-reflux surgery between 1965 and 2006 to clarify whether the procedure prevents later development of esophageal adenocarcinoma.

The researchers found that the overall risk for development of esophageal adenocarcinoma was increased 12-fold in this population, and that there was no major decrease in risk over time after surgery. After a post-surgical follow-up lasting at least 15 years, the standardized incidence ratio was 14.6. The standardized incidence ratio was 4.4 for the corresponding overall risk of cardia adenocarcinoma, and there was no statistically significant decrease in risk over time.

"In conclusion, this large and population-based cohort study with long and complete follow-up evaluation indicates that anti-reflux surgery does not prevent the development of esophageal or cardia adenocarcinoma among persons with reflux. Thus anti-reflux surgery should not be considered a cancer-preventive therapy," the authors write.

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