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Esophagus Pathology

When your esophagus was biopsied, the samples taken were studied under the microscope by a specialized doctor with many years of training called a pathologist. The pathologist sends your doctor a report that gives a diagnosis for each sample taken. Information in this report will be used to help manage your care. The information here is meant to help you understand medical language you might find in the pathology report from an esophagus biopsy.

Understanding Your Pathology Report

Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus occurs when chronic reflux (regurgitation) of the stomach contents up into the esophagus damages the normal lining of the esophagus.

Reactive or Reflux Changes

A number of things, including chronic reflux (regurgitation) of the stomach contents up into the esophagus, trauma from taking medicines, and infections can injure the squamous lining of the esophagus. The esophagus reacts to the injury and tries to repair itself. This creates changes that can be seen under the microscope that are called reactive changes.

Carcinoma (Cancer)

Carcinoma is the general medical term for a cancer that starts in the cells that line organs. Nearly all cancers that start in the esophagus are carcinomas.