Occasional heartburn is a common ailment, but if you experience heartburn on a daily basis ask your doctor about an endoscopy.
Bassett Healthcare gastrenterologist Dr. Joseph Schmer advises, “ If you need to take medicines on a daily basis, especially if you’ve had heartburn for quite some time, or are over age 40 or 50 years old and taking over the counter medications or prescription medications, you should have an endoscopy done.”
Dr. Schmer says there is a specific type of test called an E-G-D that allows doctors to look inside the body’s food pipes for evidence of such conditions as ulcers and gastric cancers.
Someone who has heartburn constantly is at risk for Barrett’s Esophagus, which can develop into a rare, but deadly type of cancer. An E-G-D may be recommended yearly and can be performed at Bassett’s health center in Herkimer. Screening colonoscopies are also done in Herkimer and recommended for anyone age 50 or older, younger if you have a family history of colon cancer. These same services are also offered on the campus of Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown. For more information visit www.bassett.org or call 1-800-Bassett.