Recent medical studies have proven that frequent heartburn indicates a greater risk of cancer of the esophagus.
Take this short test to assess your own risk.
Heartburn – a burning or acid feeling in the chest located behind the breastbone. Also commonly called “indigestion” or “reflux.”
Example: “I have indigestion after a large meal.”
Reflux – When food or “hot water” comes up the back of your throat. A bitter or acid feeling in the back of the throat, also called regurgitation.
Nocturnal heartburn or reflux – Heartburn that occurs at night, normally awakening the person. It may cause choking or coughing and even asthma attacks at night.
1. Give yourself a score for each question based on the provided numbers.
2. Add up your total score.
3. Compare your score to the “esophageal cancer risk scale”
Esophageal Cancer Risk
Your risk compared to normal
If your score is 1 – 2 your cancer risk is 1.4 times the normal risk.
If your score is 2.5 – 4 your cancer risk is 8 times the normal risk.
If your score is greater than 4 your cancer risk is 20 times the normal risk.
If your risk is greater than normal, discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
I have heartburn (yes = 1; no = 0)
I have reflux (yes = 1; no = 0)
I have both heartburn and reflux (yes = 1.5; no = 0)
I have heartburn or reflux at night (yes = 2; no = 0)
I have heartburn or reflux (1 answer only):
Once a week (yes = 0)
2-6 times a week (yes = 1)
7 – 15 times a week (yes = 2)
More than 15 times a week (yes = 3)