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Old 05-12-2010, 04:47 PM   #1
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Worry about reflux and cancer

Hello all

I hope you can help as I am really worried. About 6 months ago I started getting stomach pain when eating fatty goods such as french fries or drinking hot coffee. This pain was just right below the middle of where the two sides of my ribcage meet. After a couple of months I realised it was a long term problem so went to the doctor. They said it was probably gastritis due to acid and prescribed Lanzoprazole. I also modified my diet to include less alcohol and coffee and tomatoes. My pains were reduced, but I have also stopped eating/drinking the things that caused them. However, in place I have a sore throat and hoarse voice 24-7, and a feeling of food sticking in my throat and esophagus when eating bread or potatoes in particular. I am still taking Lanzoprazole every day.

I am really worried that I have gastric or esophageal cancer from what I read on the internet. I am scheduled for an upper GI exam but there is a few months wait and I am really scared in the meantime.

I should say that I am a 29-year old male who smoked from age 16-25 and drank alcohol between 17 and 29 (recently stopped). I also have had episodes of bulimia on and off since a teenager. I keep having virtually what are panic attacks all the time about this and feeling really depressed as I have a young baby and partner that I love very much. What are your opinions on this? Should I try and push for a more urgent GI exam, or have I got health anxiety/OCD?

Thanks

 
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:58 PM   #2
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Sounds like classic LPR, which is a form of acid reflux. You are doing the right thing by having it checked out, but in the interim, relax..continue your diet and meds. As long as you don't feel worse in the coming weeks, your doctor's advise in scheduling your tests should be OK.

 
Old 05-12-2010, 08:01 PM   #3
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

yes, sounds very typical of what i have gerd/lpr. Still get it checked out though. Best wishes, you are not alone.

 
Old 05-13-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Guys, thanks for the advice and kind words. Can I add that I have the 'food sticking' sensation more in my back than under the breast bone or chest area. I can still feel it there, but the main sensation feels kinda more near my spine, a little above breast bone level.

Were your symptoms similar?

 
Old 05-13-2010, 08:30 AM   #5
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

I know this sounds very hard to do, but if you smoke nicotine you must quit. Chewing nicotine gum or wearing a patch is not great, but it may give your throat a rest from the smoke. Cigarrette smoking alone could be the cause of all your problems. Let alone that it is a proven fact that it contributes to all sorts of cancers, emphyzema, asthma, etc., etc., etc. You have probably heard all this from your personal physician.

I suppose it is not impossible to have cancer at 26, but I doubt that. These are merely signals your body is giving you that you are irritating your throat and GI system by introducing alcohol and nicotine via smoking. If you are 26 you have the chance to turn things around before permanent damage is done.

People tend to have flareups of these disorders, so it is very possible for you to get rid of these symptoms by ceasing smoking, cutting back on your alcohol consumption significantly and following a sensible diet for a while to give your body a chance to rest. You may also be low on nutrients. I know I did not watch my diet and/or ate healthy foods at your age. But I never smoked and drank in moderation.

I doubt you have cancer. It sounds like your throat and esophagus are very irritated and need a rest. Short term use of PPI's helps with that problem, and then you have to modify your lifestyle and diet to avoid a recurrence of the symptoms.

Hope you feel better very soon.

Rose

 
Old 05-13-2010, 10:24 AM   #6
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Thanks Rosebloom,

Not sure if you misread my post, but I quit smoking about 4 years ago and never looked back. The thought that I was a smoker just makes me disgusted and fearful now. I have drunk in moderation now for several years, and I try and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. My main hope is that I have turned my life around in time to make a big difference.

 
Old 05-15-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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rosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB User
Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

I did misread your post. My apologies!

Congratulations on doing so. Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances there is.

There is a product called Prelief which you can find at the drugstore over the counter which cuts acid from foods and drinks. I would not use it daily, but I take two when I want to have an alcoholic drink or a cup of coffee here and there. It consists of calcium and magnesium and is fairly safe. However, if you take too many, then you can end up with too much of the minerals in your blood and that is not good either. But it is safe for occassional use like anything else.

I have also purchased online an antiacid called Briosch recommended by another poster here. It is lemon flavored and it fizzes and consists of bicarbonate of soda. I also drink that occassionally after dinner and it helps with heartburn.

When I first came upon this board, I read a lot of the old threads and decided to start trying several of the remedies posted here to see how they affected me.

I have now been taking Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water three times per day and, coincidentally or not, have been able to be off Zantac for a week. I only took one the other day while I was at the office and did not have the ACV available to drink.
Sounds nasty but seems to work for me.

I wish you the best in your search for remedies. Keep us posted of how you are feeling and whether you find something that works well for you.

Rose

 
Old 05-21-2010, 07:12 AM   #8
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Can anyone tell me if its a common symptom to get a pain in the stomach as soon as you swallow fatty foods like fries, hot drinks like coffee, strong alcohol like spirits, or acidic drinks like fresh orange juice. This pain usually receded within a minute or two of consuming each bite of food, and receded quickly when a glass of water was drunk. Foods like potatoes and vegetables that were not salty, greasy or acidic did not produce pain.

I am worried that I have ignored something serious, as I started having this pain about a year ago, but due to having a new born baby as well as a PhD to work on, I pretty much ignored it being so busy.

These days I dont touch alcohol or any other things that caused this pain, but as I said in the last month or two I have been getting increasingly bad reflux the whole way up into my mouth. I have been on Nexium with little effect.

I still have no upper GI appointment, so am waiting with much worry. What do you guys think? I have been obsessing so much and cant decide if I'm right to be worried or if I have OCD.

 
Old 05-21-2010, 08:19 AM   #9
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just1primate HB User
Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Soounds like Gallbladder to me.

 
Old 05-21-2010, 08:28 AM   #10
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Well it looks like gall bladder is associated with those types of foods, but I got this pain as soon as I swallowed. I also have a bit of difficulty swallowing now i might add. But no pain on right of ribs or anything that might indicate GB. My main symptoms are acid reflux and difficulty swallowing

Last edited by gobbolino; 05-21-2010 at 08:50 AM.

 
Old 05-28-2010, 09:02 PM   #11
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Post Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by gobbolino View Post
Hello all

I hope you can help as I am really worried. About 6 months ago I started getting stomach pain when eating fatty goods such as french fries or drinking hot coffee. This pain was just right below the middle of where the two sides of my ribcage meet. After a couple of months I realised it was a long term problem so went to the doctor. They said it was probably gastritis due to acid and prescribed Lanzoprazole. I also modified my diet to include less alcohol and coffee and tomatoes. My pains were reduced, but I have also stopped eating/drinking the things that caused them. However, in place I have a sore throat and hoarse voice 24-7, and a feeling of food sticking in my throat and esophagus when eating bread or potatoes in particular. I am still taking Lanzoprazole every day.

I am really worried that I have gastric or esophageal cancer from what I read on the internet. I am scheduled for an upper GI exam but there is a few months wait and I am really scared in the meantime.

I should say that I am a 29-year old male who smoked from age 16-25 and drank alcohol between 17 and 29 (recently stopped). I also have had episodes of bulimia on and off since a teenager. I keep having virtually what are panic attacks all the time about this and feeling really depressed as I have a young baby and partner that I love very much. What are your opinions on this? Should I try and push for a more urgent GI exam, or have I got health anxiety/OCD?

Thanks

 
Old 05-28-2010, 09:08 PM   #12
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

hi my name is trina. i have been bulimic for ten years. I understand what you are going through. I have the same pain. I recently stated getting throat pain. I am very scared of my consicences, and no i cannot spell. anyways, i have a problem with getting help. ya, i know, i just pretend i dont have a problem.. but, ya, its catchin up to me. i get panic attacks all the time. maybe u can give me advice on how or what to do. i should go get help, but im afraid. thanx for listening, reading whatever.

 
Old 05-29-2010, 03:40 PM   #13
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Hi Trina

Don't worry, you are not alone with these problems, and its great that you can actually come online and talk about them. But you definitely need to seek proper medical advice as soon as possible. I was ashamed to admit about my problem, but in the end my doctor was great and really kind. People are not judging bulimics like they used to I think, because more and more people see that it is often linked to depression and a feeling that we aren't in control of our lives.

I'm sure you've been reading up about bulimia, and like me you were probably scared when you read the terrible consequences it can have. The best thing you can do is go to an understanding doctor and get assessed. I managed to stop being bulimic myself, but it took a long time. Apparently, when medical professionals intervene in bulimia, the outlook is good that you can stop. Also, if you are worried about your throat or esophagus, you can arrange to get a scope which will put your mind at ease.

I also found this medical publication about examinations of the upper GI tract of bulimcs, at the link below

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2599294

I understand about the panic attacks, I just had a three-week period where I was totally fearful every waking minute. Thankfully I am feeling a bit better now, and have a scope scheduled for two weeks time. Trust me, it feels better just knowing you are doing something about it all. Also, the doctor can prescribe you something for your anxiety, it doesnt have to make you doped, maybe just something like propranolol can make the difference and take the edge off the nerves (although you can't take this if you have low blood pressure.

Anyway please let me know what you decide to do and how you get on. Will be thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way

 
Old 05-30-2010, 02:26 AM   #14
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Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Hi there!
I got GERD because I was Bulimic. My first symptoms of my GERD were globus hystericus, back pain and stiff neck. I thought the back pain and stiff neck were just due to my kind of work ( I am a nurse). And the globus was what I worried about. It got worst when I was planning my wedding due to stress. I got palpitation, difficulty breathing,dizziness, still with back pain and stiff neck,globus h and difficulty swallowing. I went to every gastroenterologist had some tests and all of them diagnosed me as having GERD. Maybe you would wonder why I went to different docs. Its because I know the claassic sign of it is heartburn and I was not having it so I kinda not trusting them.
That was 2 yrs ago. Now, I thank God I'm much better but still having some attacks. Meditation helps me tone down my stress level. I avoid some foods that are not good for GERD and sleeps with my 10 pillows under my head. I still have back pain but manageable.Still hard time swallowing meat but I avoid them as much as possible.
Can anyone with GERD for many years share their symptoms and how they are coping now? It will be informative to those who are feeling the same and helps them to lessen their anxiety.

 
Old 06-01-2010, 04:49 PM   #15
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rosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB Userrosebloom HB User
Re: Worry about reflux and cancer

Stress can certainly aggravate reflux. You mentioned a newborn baby (Congratulations!) and working on your Ph.D. That means either going to school and/or going to school while simultaneously trying to parent, work and produce a doctoral dissertation. In other words, you are under tremendous stress.

My mother, who suffered from gallbladder problems, could not eat fatty foods without experiencing pain and heartburn. I think her heartburn was secondary to the food not being properly digested and sitting in her stomach for too long. She would periodically get these violent "attacks" after eating certain foods like berries (highly acidic). Once or twice she had to go to the hospital because she could not stop vomiting. She tended to have pain and nausea whenever she ate heavy or greasy foods, i.e., french fries, a slice of pie, etc.

I still doubt you have cancer but it is still a good idea to have that upper GI. It will give you great peace of mind and provide you with a baseline for future testing and comparison.

It is very hard to do this when you are in the middle of parenting and giving birth to a doctoral dissertation, but try to eat as healthy as you can. Avoid those foods that are triggers to you. It is possible to eat things that are not fried and non-acidic. I do not eat fried foods or (sadly) drink orange juice or coffee (much as I like both). I know I am going to pay dearly if I do. Therefore, I avoid them.

Congratulations on being a new parent and good luck finishing up that dissertation project!

Rose

 
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