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With Heartburn-Esophageal Cancer Link on the Rise, DeKalb Medical Offers Solutions

April 02, 2014

April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month, a time designated to educate and raise awareness about this lethal cancer that has a death rate of 85 to 90 percent within five years of discovery. Cancer of the lower esophagus is caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), commonly referred to as heartburn. This cancer’s frequency is increasing at an alarming rate, faster than any solid tumor ever measured, with an 800 percent rise since 1975.*

DeKalb Medical recognizes the need in the community for treatment of GERD and its symptoms, and launched The Heartburn Solutions Center in November 2013. Since, our highly trained clinical team has begun to see patients suffering from heartburn, regurgitation, swallowing difficulties and throat hoarseness that have affected their eating habits, work productivity, sleep schedules and quality of life. Community members want to know more about GERD, as evidenced by three well-attended community discussions this year lead by gastroenterologist Mark Stern, M.D., with nurse navigator Pam Briggs, R.N., joining him for his most recent in March.

The Heartburn Solutions Center at DeKalb Medical provides patients with the latest state-of-the-art technologies, such as Esophageal Manometry and the 48 hour Bravo® pH Study, to test the function of the esophagus, measure acid levels and evaluate for pre-cancerous conditions. Treatment can then be tailored specifically for each patient, whether it’s medication or minimally invasive surgery. The nurse navigator assures each patient will have an outstanding experience by overseeing the scheduling and completion of evaluation and treatment. Each patient has a single point of contact supplying access, education, convenience and support throughout the entire process.

The Heartburn Solutions Center at DeKalb Medical has an array of treatments, including the revolutionary LINX® Reflux Management System, a device that helps the valve between the lower esophagus and stomach operate normally. This new, minimally invasive surgical procedure resolves reflux symptoms and eliminates the need for daily medications. Patients return home within 24 hours, eating a normal diet and resuming full activities.

Anyone suffering from frequent symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation or trouble swallowing, who would like to learn more about possible treatment options please visit www.atlantaheartburnsolutionscenter.com or call 404.501.4844 for more information.

*According to information provided by Legato Medical Systems

About DeKalb Medical

Founded in 1961, DeKalb Regional Health System, Inc., known as DeKalb Medical, is comprised of more than 800 doctors skilled in 55 medical specialties across three campuses. The 627-bed system includes DeKalb Medical at North Decatur (451 beds), DeKalb Medical Long Term Acute Care at Downtown Decatur (77 beds), DeKalb Medical at Hillandale (100 beds), and DeKalb Medical Physicians Group and the DeKalb Medical Foundation. The not-for-profit healthcare system is a HealthGrades® Five-Star Recipient for Treatment of Heart Attack in 2013 and Five-Star Recipient for Peripheral Vascular Bypass in 2012. Our Maternity Center was selected as a participant in the Best Fed Beginnings project as part of UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative. Our Cancer Center has been granted three-year approval by The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons as a community hospital comprehensive oncology program, and our Joint Solutions Center is a metro Atlanta leader in joint replacement. In addition, our LTAC earned The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval® for acquired brain injury, wound care and respiratory failure services. Visit www.dekalbmedical.org.

2701 North Decatur Road Decatur, GA 30033
Patient Inquiries: 404.501.5200

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