In 2008, after swallowing a piece of carrot that became stuck in his esophagus, Tom’s Restaurant & Tavern owner Michael Ratner had an endoscopy. Two days later, he found out he had esophageal cancer. His only symptom: a history of recurrent gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). His wife, Terry, a registered nurse, urges people who exhibit heartburn two to three times a week, to schedule a routine endoscopy with their next colonoscopy.
In 2015, The American Cancer Society estimates that close to 17,000 Americans will be diagnosed with esophageal cancer.