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Old 06-20-2011, 06:52 AM   #1
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Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR

This is driving me mad...I am 40 year old male with about 18 years history of alcohol, drinking above the recommended levels by a bit. I have had two upper endoscopies and was diagnosed with GERD about 4 years back, confirmed again during the next endoscopy 2.5 years later.

It all started with a sore throat that came after a minor flu which just lasted couple of days. Since then I was feeling throat soreness. I had a course of antibiotics, but it really screwed up my stomach. Had been to two ENTs so far. Both did not bother to do a scope, but did indirect mirror scopy and confirmed that there seem to be swellings in throat and mucous in my throat area. One advised abstinence from alcohol and continuation of PPI (20 mg Omeprezole), the other prescribed 40 mg Nexium instead and asked to see again after a month.

Its been 10 days since Nexium, after the initial sense of well being, the soreness is back with more emphasis since yesterday. Today I also have flu like symptoms, not sure if I am actually getting one that is exaggerating the soreness.

In my heart I am prepared to be at peace with LPR, but what freaks out me is what if it is cancer?

So how do you distinguish between LPR and Throat Cancer? Can the ENTs make an assessment based on what they see? I had gone to the ENT specifically asking if it could be cancer, both put it to GERD and reflux. May be because of my history? So how does a cancerous soreness feel like? Mine seem to be playing hide and seek, it seem to get bearable giving hope of improvement and then it come back again..Is this normal with LPR or cancer? I have changed my lifestyle as best as I can..No alcohol for about a month now, eating lots of vegetables and fruits, has stopped eating before sleeping and finishes dinner by 2-3 hours before. Sleeping with my upper torso perked up on pillows always. Takes Gaviscon prior to sleeping to further stop reflux. In all my life I have never been this concerned about myself and health. Still there seem to be no improvement. Only if I can get the cancer ruled out..

So How do LPR and cancer differ symptomatically? Do you guys think I should go for a laryngoscopy or better upper endoscopy to make sure? My ENT feel I can do endoscopy after the swelling in throat subside as otherwise he think it could pose problems to do endoscopy. Or is it better to wait?

Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

 
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:37 AM   #2
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Re: Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR

Sorry to bump...Anyone please???

 
Old 06-21-2011, 11:19 AM   #3
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Re: Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR

If you've never smoked, it's unlikely to be cancer.

But yes, the doctor can generally tell by looking at it with the scope. If he sees any kind of growth or abnormality, he can take a biopsy. It sounds like the doctors are seeing general swelling, not a problem in one specific area. It's quite common for LPR to start after a virus. The virus causes the irritation, but the acid reflux perpetuates it.

I think it's quite unlikely in your case.

 
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR

Hi, I tend to agree with janewhite. Drs would look for Cancer cells during your Endoscopy, they know what they are looking for, so don't worry on that score. You say Antibiotics messed up your stomach, mine too!... I had a large amount for H.Pylori. The trouble with them is they destroy your good bacteria as well as your bad. You need to take PROBIOTICS regularly to replace that loss. I wasn't told this until a year after my treatment. Gaviscon is good and can be taken alongside PPIs.
You could also try ALOE VERA it is good for Digestive problems. Solofelix.

 
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Old 06-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #5
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Re: Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR

Thank you Jane for putting me at ease. The wannabe hypochondriac in me should be able to sleep tonight, but tomorrow is another day

I have never smoked in my life, I was worried about the alcohol part.

< edited >

Now I wonder why the ENT did not do a direct laryngoscopy...

Last edited by moderator2; 06-21-2011 at 03:18 PM. Reason: Please don't post unapproved websites, per Posting Policy. Thanks.

 
Old 06-21-2011, 12:13 PM   #6
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Re: Distinguishing throat cancer from LPR

Oops the link posted is gone..didn't knew it was not an approved link...

Thanks solofelix..

My last upper endoscopy was about 15 months back..Since then my GERD had become little worse as I was indulging in whiskies by drinking them neat etc, may be about 4-5 units a day (about 25 ml units). Thus my worry primarily stems from this fact...if I had caused enough damage to throat and GI tract to turn it into cancer...

Then reading again I read it is not the alcoholic drink but alcohol metabolites that cause cancer...is that correct?

Hmm.. I just got flu and for the first time in my life I am happy to have a flu.. Now whatever feelings I have in my throat I am attributing it to the flu.. at least for the day..

 
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