Antonio Goodman, a chef from Glen Rock, New Jersey, was diagnosed a few years ago with Barrett’s esophagus, a condition where the lining of the esophagus becomes damaged when stomach acid backtracks into the esophagus, due to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People with Barrett’s esophagus are at an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer, and thus need a routine endoscopy every year.
In 2020 when COVID-19 interrupted much of the healthcare system, Goodman like many others, put off his routine screening for two years. In December of 2021, Goodman’s gastroenterologist Gregory B. Haber, MD, found a suspicious mass at the bottom of the esophagus, and a biopsy revealed a malignant stage 1 esophageal cancer.
Goodman was referred to Paresh C. Shah, MD, surgeon-in-chief at NYU Langone’s Tisch Hospital and a surgeon for the Esophageal Cancer Program. On February 17, Dr. Shah and his colleagues performed an operation to remove the cancer, and—because it was caught early—Goodman would not need any additional chemotherapy and radiation.
“Getting regular surveillance, regular screening endoscopies is so critical because that is how we catch these cancers early,” Dr. Shah tells NBC New York.
Goodman is back to work in the kitchen and encouraging others “not to delay their routine doctors’ visits and cancer screenings.”
Watch more from NBC New York.