Our center includes a team of researchers and experts committed to the prevention and early detection of esophageal cancer.
There are two sub-types of esophageal cancer. Squamous-cell carcinoma is more common in the developing world and is associated with tobacco and alcohol use.
Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is common in developed regions of the world like the United States. It is more common in males and often associated with long-standing obesity and acid reflux. A recognized risk factor for adenocarcinoma is Barrett’s esophagus— damage to the lower esophagus typically caused by chronic acid reflux. Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is too rare to warrant universal screening in the general public. However, patients with Barret’s esophagus must undergo regular screening for adenocarcinoma.
Under the direction of Dr. Folasade P. May, a gastroenterologist and health services researcher, current studies in esophageal cancer prevention and control include population-based epidemiological studies and health services research. Our team uses national data and cancer registry data to understand trends over time in esophageal cancer incidence, mortality, survival, and disease stage at presentation in the United States. Our team also examines national racial and ethnic disparities in esophageal cancer incidence and outcomes to better understand how all individuals, regardless of background, can have the best possible outcomes after a diagnosis of esophageal cancer.
Future studies will aim to understand how to improve the care and well-being of patients with a diagnosis of esophageal cancer at UCLA Health. We are also interested in finding ways to improve the delivery of healthcare to patients with this disease in the greater Los Angeles area.