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Old 08-27-2011, 02:59 PM   #1
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Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

Just a warning to those of you who have GERD issues, trouble swallowing food, food stuck in throat, heartburn, acid reflux, etc. PLEASE make an appointment to have an Endoscopy done. I did and it saved my life.

In October 2010 I was diagnosed with stage III Esophogeal Cancer. I did not fit into the "risk factors" so it took a little while for my doctor to order my Endoscopy. Usually by the time it is diagnosed it is too late. Even if your health care provider does not think you are at risk, INSIST on having the test done. Heartburn does cause cancer.

Today I am 100% cancer free after chemo/radiation and surgery but I am one of the lucky ones. It has been a hard year and I wish someone had warned me a lot earlier.

Do not ever think, "It wont happen to me", It is better to be safe than sorry.

 
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

Glad to hear that you are cancer free. Can you give us some time line on how long you had the reflux before the cancer was diagnosed? Did the symptoms change as the cancer progressed - that is - how to tell if the symtoms are from reflux as opposed to from the cancer? Thanks

Last edited by ppiless; 08-30-2011 at 06:16 PM.

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:09 AM   #3
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

"Glad to hear that you are cancer free. Can you give us some time line on how long you had the reflux before the cancer was diagnosed? Did the symptoms change as the cancer progressed - that is - how to tell if the symtoms are from reflux as opposed to from the cancer? Thanks"

The symptoms were getting worse, especially being tired, having to use more antacids, swallowing became more difficult, pain in right side of upper chest became less tolerable.

As I said before, anyone suffering from GERD/Acid Reflux/Heartburn, should get an Endoscopy done. It is better to be safe than sorry. For those who do not have insurance, a referral from a doctor and then a visit to a clinic who will do the treatment on a sliding scale is possible. Even applying for MEDICAID could be a solution.

It is a shame that people have to put their health at risk in this country because they can not afford treatment.

Best Regards-

Diane K. -
Austin, Texas

 
Old 08-31-2011, 10:14 AM   #4
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Angry Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

That is a very very scary story im glad you are better im 30 year old male i just got my doc to refer me to a gi i get chest pain daily and it gos down my arm and i get shortness of breath blurry vision i wake up in the middle of the night felling like i cant breath and light headed the last 3 years i always had problems eating any kinds of foods i would be running to the bathroom in 5 min so after rulling out that i dont have heart issues im going to get a Colonoscopy done and also endoscopy a story like this makes me worried

 
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Old 08-31-2011, 11:58 AM   #5
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

I've had 1 endoscopy (which was negative for esophitigis and therefore barretts, cancer etc.), however it was during the beginning of my problems. My question is - how often should one do this (so that any carcinoma can be detected at the earliest) - especially when the symptoms are not quite going away.

 
Old 08-31-2011, 04:31 PM   #6
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

It is good to get the warning. Just keep perspective, everybody. Most people with GERD never develop cancer.

However, if your symptoms seem to be steadily getting worse over time, or you start to experience unexplained weight loss and fatigue, those are red flags.

I figure I'm going to try to get scoped about once every 5 years as long as I have these problems. Obviously, if my GI problems get unexpectedly worse and stay worse for a few months, I will demand more tests.

 
Old 08-31-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

I've had severe reflux for a while now. My GI doc recommended that I have my next Endoscopy at 7 years. I've had 3 endoscopies in the last 5 years though so I imagine I'll be back for another one before I'm officially due.

Endoscopies really can save lives. Thanks for sharing your story.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

Quote:
Originally Posted by lunarweblink View Post
That is a very very scary story im glad you are better im 30 year old male i just got my doc to refer me to a gi i get chest pain daily and it gos down my arm and i get shortness of breath blurry vision i wake up in the middle of the night felling like i cant breath and light headed the last 3 years i always had problems eating any kinds of foods i would be running to the bathroom in 5 min so after rulling out that i dont have heart issues im going to get a Colonoscopy done and also endoscopy a story like this makes me worried


I am glad that you are taking your acid reflux/ heartburn seriously. I would never have thought that all of my symptoms put together spelled Esopohgeal Cancer- Neither did my doctor. I had forgotten about the shortness of breath until you mentioned it and I too had many tests come back normal. Doctor even attributed my symptoms as stress.

I am glad that I was persistant and that my doctor sent me for my Scope. That she was willing to look for THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM AND NOT JUST TRY TO MASK THE SYMPTOMS. We almost did not catch it in time. Stage III, at stage IV my chances would have been severly cut down.

Anyone who is perplexed or baffeled, or if your doctors can not find a solution to the problem have an Endoscopy done. IT MIGHT SAVE YOUR LIFE. If nothing else, you can rule that one out. Once you find out what you are up against I know you will feel a lot of relief.

So please, if you suffer from heartburn, acid reflux, tiredness, shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing, ect...please schedule an Endoscopy.

Rememebr, Heartburn does cause cancer....

Last edited by moderator2; 08-31-2011 at 08:45 PM.

 
Old 08-31-2011, 07:59 PM   #9
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Re: Health risks with Acid Reflux: My story

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppiless View Post
I've had 1 endoscopy (which was negative for esophitigis and therefore barretts, cancer etc.), however it was during the beginning of my problems. My question is - how often should one do this (so that any carcinoma can be detected at the earliest) - especially when the symptoms are not quite going away.
I would go back to my primary and let them know about your concerns and tell them that you would like thier support in the Endoscopy. They are scoping me once every 6 months. they tell me everyone should have a colonoscopy after 40 once every ten years.

Best regards-

Diane K.

P.S. I love what one person wrote, about keeping the perspective, but I also know how denial and procrastination can really be harmful. If there are issues it is our bodies telling us that something is not right. Only 36,000 people are diagnosed with EC every year....but only 10% MIGHT live because by the time the symptoms appear the cancer is usually in the later stages....I am only 41 years old.

 
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