St. Elizabeth Hospital announces new treatment to prevent esophageal cancer
Barrx procedure safely removes pre-cancerous, Barrett’s esophagus condition
12 / 16 / 2008
Maria Nelson, Media Relations
Affinity Health System
(920) 554-0686 (pager)
APPLETON, Wis. –St. Elizabeth Hospital now offers a state-of-the-art treatment to prevent deadly esophageal cancer. Known as Barrx (pronounced BAR-x) procedure, this safe treatment targets those with the pre-cancerous Barrett’s esophagus condition, a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and the majority of esophageal cancer patients are diagnosed at an advanced stage with poor prognosis, according to the American Association for Cancer Research.
Dr. Timothy Edison, a gastroenterologist specializing in the treatment of disorders of the esophagus, stomach and gastrointestinal tract, was instrumental in bringing the Barrx procedure to St. Elizabeth Hospital.
“It’s no question that Barrx is a life-saving procedure,” Edison said. “Our ability to safely treat those with Barrett’s esophagus and prevent esophageal cancer puts us in the best position possible to stay ahead of the cancer, especially as its prevalence is on the rise.”
More than one million Americans have Barrett’s esophagus, according to the Medical University of South Carolina. Those who have chronic acid reflux are at a higher risk for the disease.
The Barrx procedure uses HALO ablation technology where the affected tissue is heated until all diseased tissue is removed. This is done without damage to the normal underlying structures.
Barrx is an outpatient procedure and in most cases, takes less than 30 minutes.
For the Editor:
Affinity Health System, a faith-based regional health care network, is the Fox Valley’s second-largest employer, according to the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry. For the fourth consecutive year, Affinity has been named one of the nation’s top 64 health systems based on clinical performance according to Thomson Reuters, a leading provider of information and solutions to improve the cost and quality of health care. For ten consecutive years, Affinity Health System has been named to the SDI (formerly Verispan) Integrated Health Network Top 100, an annual assessment of the 100 most highly integrated health care networks in the nation. Both St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh rank among the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide in terms of quality and efficiency, as determined by the 2007 Premier | CareScience Select practice National Quality Award. Members of Affinity include Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Health Foundation, Oshkosh; St. Elizabeth Hospital and the St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation, Appleton; Affinity Medical Group, a regional network of 25 family practice and specialty clinics – 22 of which are recognized as NCQA Level III medical homes, the highest level of recognition – in 14 communities; Calumet Medical Center, Chilton; and Affinity Occupational Health.