Help in fight against esophageal cancer?

July 8, 2008 3:09:43 PM PDT
Millions of Americans deal with the discomfort of heartburn. For some people, chronic acid reflux can become very serious, even turning into cancer of the esophagus. A new treatment called "Cryospray Ablation", which can freeze and destroy cancer cells, may help people avoid this rare form of cancer.

The device unveiled Tuesday at Loyola University Medical Center works by spraying liquid nitrogen into the esophagus to freeze and destroy pre-cancerous cells.

The idea is to kill the abnormal cells before they become cancerous.

The Loyola University Medical Center says this technique is less painful than other procedures.

Another treatment, called Radio Frequency Ablation, uses intense bursts of heat compared to surgery. Doctors say either procedure can be easier on the patient.