Re: Stomach Cancer
Gastritis and GERD frequently occur together. The likelihood is that you'll be put on some sort of proton pump inhibitor, which is a type of medication that reduces the amount of acid your stomach produces. Since you also have GERD, you may want to consider raising the head of your bed by about 4-6 inches, so that you sleep on a slight angle. This helps keep the stomach contents in the stomach instead of allowing them to flow back up into the esophagus. You can find various devices for raising the bed...I don't recommend the wedge pillows, though, as one typically slides down off them and, even if you don't, they kind of make you sleep in a bent position. Also, don't ever lie down within 2 hours of eating...this gives your stomach a chance to clear the food you've eaten onto the duodenum, where it won't reflux back up into the esophagus.
As for the polyps...again, not at all uncommon. There are various types of polyps. Some have more of a tendency to turn cancerous than others, but cancer can usually be prevented by having scopes more often, so the polyps are removed before they have a chance to become cancerous.
Since you've got polyps in the stomach (or perhaps the duodenum, which is the part of the intestine just on the other side of the stomach from the esophagus) you probably should consider having a colonoscopy as well. Polyps can occur anywhere throughout the intestinal tract and, again, it's important that they be removed before they have a chance to become cancerous.
If this sounds scary, let me reassure you that it's not nearly as bad as it sounds. Through better testing and removal of polyps early on, the incidence of stomach and intestinal cancer has been dramatically reduced. Also, the tendency to develop polyps is frequently genetically inherited, as it is in my family. Many of my great-aunts and uncles died before the age of 50 of some type of gastrointestinal cancer. They didn't have such great screening techniques, and so they didn't even know they were developing cancer until it was too late (and of course, they didn't have great treatments back then, either.) My brother and I have both inherited the tendency towards polyps, but we've been carefully followed for the past 10 years, with colonoscopies and endoscopies every 2-3 years (polyps are usually quite slow growing). While each of us has had many, MANY polyps removed, from various areas of the gastro-intestinal tract, neither of us have developed GI cancer, and I have great hope that neither of us ever will due to such great preventive care. I've had two other types of cancer...but that's a whole 'nother story. And, may I add, I've survived both!
Last edited by SamQKitty; 03-07-2007 at 03:42 PM.