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Barrett's Oesophagus is a condition that is sometimes found in people who develop oesophageal cancer. However, it is important to note that not everoyne who has Barrett's Oesophagus develops oesophageal cancer. Similarly, not everyone who is diagnosed with oesophageal cancer suffered from Barrett's Oesophagus previously.
Barrett's Oesophagus occurs when the pink-white lining of the oesophagus is repeatedly exposed to stomach acid due to reflux. The constant reflux then changes the structure of the tissue in the lining. The pink-white lining becomes an acid-resistant salmon-coloured red lining which looks like the lining of the stomach or small intestines.
Over time, the body replaces the normal cells lining the oesophagus with different cells which scretes mucous to make it more resistant to stomach acid.
Over time, your body replaces the normal cells lining the oesophagus with cells of a different type. This new type of cell secretes mucus which makes it more resistant to the acid coming up from the stomach. The presence of these cells in the oesophagus is known as Barrett’s oesophagus or Barrett’s metaplasia.
Barrett’s oesophagus is when the normally pink-white lining of the oesophagus is exposed to acidic stomach acid over time (because of reflux) and then is replaced by an acid-resistant salmon-coloured red lining which is more like (but different to) the lining of the stomach, small intestine or, more rarely, the pancreas.
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