Anyone know the chance of getting throat cancer from acid reflux?? I have had problems for about 8 months now and getting worried.. My voice hasnt changed any but its just the throat irritation and redness that i keep getting.I am on medicine twice a day but still have heart burn and throat discomfort.. My biggest concern is throat cancer.. I'm only 29 but have had reflux since i was about 10 yrs old. I DONT SMOKE OR DRINK so i'm hoping this helps my odds of not getting throat cancer.. Anyone have any advice ??????
You have almost no chance of getting throat cancer. Don't even worry about it. The cancer risk is almost non-existant. People like to make other people scared, some doctors seem to like to do this also, probably for financial reasons. Read the latest medical report on acid reflux and cancer, it said you have the same chances of getting it as somebody who does not have acid reflux.
I don't like to scare people, however, my husband had GERD and a hiatal hernia. He was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in Nov. 2004 and passed away Nov. 2006. It's good that you are treating your reflux. Just stay on top of it and visit with your doctor frequently.
The Rhode Island Hospital and Brown Medical School did a study that found that "Approximately 10 percent of GERD patients develop Barrett's esophagus. A middle-aged person with BE for 20 years or more has a 10 to 20 percent lifetime risk of developing esophageal cancer".
That would mean that, overall, you have a 1% - 2% chance of GERD developing into esophageal cancer.
I asked my ENT about this because I have been suffering from acid-related throat problems for more than a year now. He said the chances are very low. I think there is more of a risk of a cancer developing in the esophagus, at the junction of the stomach, because more acid damage builds up there and over time cell changes can occur, leading to Barretts esophagus, which can lead to cancer.
My DH was just diagnosed with Barrett's Esophogus in January. His doctor told him that his risk of cancer is about 1/2 a percent higher than the general population in any given year. He needs to be checked now every three years so I am assuming if it does occur, its very slow growing. Be sure to take your medicine and if what you are taking is not controlling your symptoms you need to ask for something else. There are lots of things out there. I have to say too that DH and I (I have had reflux for years now too and am being checked this summer) have had a lot less symptoms, significantly less, since we both started working out regularly at the gym. We noticed a difference even before we started losing weight, so that may be something for you to consider as well.
When you hear about that .5 percent higher then the general population remember the number is higher if you live near power lines, around 2nd hand smoke etc. etc. Though if you do have it and smoke cigerettes then I would imagine there could be a much higher incidence. In my opinion don't worry about it, stress from worrying about it will cause way more problems then some imaginary cancer forming waiting to do you in.
My sister-in-law who is a nurse on a surgery floor, told me that in 13 years, she has never seen anyone with esophageal cancer that wasn't a smoker.
Also, I do know that 95% of all cases of laryngeal cancers (cancer of the vocal folds) occur in smokers.
But then you read about people who are apparently so healthy also getting wierd types of cancer. But, you're right, we have to try to not think about those imaginary things. There is a theory in life that you will get what you really really really want, and what you really really really don't want--both b/c of the energy you expend thinking of them.