Harvard Health Letter

Don't let that heartburn go untreated

You may be risking a condition linked to esophageal cancer.

Photo: Thinkstock

Onions, garlic, tomato, and spicy foods like chili can trigger heartburn.

Occasional heartburn is nothing to worry about. But chronic heartburn may put you at risk for a precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus. "We are seeing more patients with Barrett's. It's unclear whether this is due to a true increase or improved awareness," says Barrett's expert Dr. Norman Nishioka, associate professor at Harvard Medical School.

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