02/04/2013 12:34 pm ET

Barrett's Esophagus: Singer Morrissey Reveals Health Woes

The singer Morrissey has finally opened up about the health woes that caused him to cancel part of his tour last month: Barrett's esophagus, a condition known to increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

Rolling Stone also reported that the former Smiths frontman suffered from a bleeding ulcer, as well as a concussion.

"The positive from all of this is that there are now no known ailments left for me to try," Morrissey said in a statement.

Barrett's esophagus is a common condition among people who also suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is when acid is regurgitated back into the esophagus from the stomach, the Mayo Clinic reported.

Barrett's esophagus occurs when that regurgitated acid damages the esophageal lining, making the esophageal lining look like the stomach's lining, according to the National Institutes of Health.

While the risk is small, Barrett's esophagus is known to raise the likelihood of a person developing esophageal cancer. However, the Mayo Clinic emphasized that most people with the condition will not go on to develop esophageal cancer, especially if there is no dysplasia (early signs of cancerous changes in the esophagus) present.

Symptoms of Barrett's esophagus include vomiting, extreme heartburn, problems swallowing, and blood in stools or in vomit, according to Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University. The condition is officially diagnosed with endoscopy (when a tube is inserted into the esophagus to retrieve a tissue sample).

There is no cure for Barrett's esophagus, but there are treatments a person can undergo to keep the condition from getting worse, Wexner Medical Center reported. Such treatments include drugs, surgery to remove the damaged part of the esophagus, and dilation (to open up the esophagus).



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