years of GERD and chronic coughing leading to Esophageal Cancer?

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New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/1/2010 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   


 I'm 19 years old, and I was diagnosed with severe GERD when I was 8 years old. I’ve been living on medications varying from Zantac then to various mg of Prevacid multiple times and day, to Prylosect, and now I am on omeprazole. 4 years ago I experienced chronic coughing and throat clearing, all the time, and i still haven’t gotten rid of it. I got checked out for all the symptoms for this chronic coughing such as that postnazal drip, asthma, and allergies, but i have none of the above. My doctor thought that being on omeprazole would help, but it hasn’t. I know that it is possible to become immune to antibiotics , but is it possible for me to have become immune to these antacids because i have been on them for all these years? I used to have worse GERD than i do now. i rarely experience heartburn, whereas when i was younger i had it almost every day. I still experience severe stomach aches from time to time in which i am prescribed to take Dicoclomene. Another major symptom of GERD is often nausea. I used to play basketball every day and after be in severe pain from all the motion and running around. Every time i get in a car, i get car sick. My gastroentologist and i have discussed surgery in the past but have put it off for now. I’m reading now that esophageal cancer is on the rise in our population, and having GERD for many years is not worsens the esophagus and leads to more severe esophageal problems which could lead to the cancer.


I am worried that cancer is not out of the question given the many years i have had severe GERD. I read also that the symptoms for this cancer include chronic coughing, but often times by the time the cancer is detected, it is already much too late to get rid of. An article i read recently says the five year survival rate is only 15%, compared to the 5 year survival rate of 88% in breast cancer and 564% for colon cancer patients. Apparently esophageal cancer is a little talked about disease, but much worse than many other cancers.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 115
   Posted 7/1/2010 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Be quiet,don't think too much,don't search on the web...just be quiet and is not sure that everyone who has GERD or esophagitis will have cancer!!!I don't think so!Do you have esophagitis?
Jatal hernia,gastritis GERD

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/1/2010 7:12 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had GERD for almost as long as you have and have been on medication just as long. I've had the same symptoms (chronic cough, junk in the throat) and I don't have cancer.

Why has surgery been delayed? It's obvious that you as still suffering from the GERD even though your symptoms have changed over the years.

I had the surgery this past December and it was very easy.

What kind of tests have you had done? There's Barium swallow, EGD, Motility, and PH test.


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 7/2/2010 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
My Father passed from esophageal cancer 5 years ago from his GERD.....BUT......he also had the GERD for 30 years and back then they didn't have the medicines that they do now to heal the esophagus or the surgeries.

I too had GERD for over 30 years, my esophagus was eroded, my stomach was entering my esophagus and I had a hiatal hernia and the medicine didn't help me so I had the surgery done this March 1st. I now take one prescription pill in the morning as the Doctor wants me to do this for 6 months. I no longer have any indigestion or acid reflux. IF I feel a little heartburn a Tums does the trick.

Please don't panic yourself into thinking that you will end up with esophageal cancer as we have the medicines and surgeries available today that we didn't years ago.

Best of luck to you.
Nissen Fundaplication 3/1/2010 (full wrap)
Hiatal Hernia 3/1/2010
Thyroid Removal 1990

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5011
   Posted 7/2/2010 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I took every acid reducer since they were invented, over 35 years of keeping my stomach non-acid. I had the surgery (not fun and a long recovery and life-changing diet forever), and I recommend putting it off until you've tried everything else.

First thing to do is find out if you have foods triggering your refluxing. OK, it's second. Do the not eating before bedtime and all the other recommendations first. But then start keeping a journal of your foods, drinks, medications and your symptoms - note times for everything! This was my prescription from my allergist!!

If you do start noticing that some foods trigger a reflux reaction, then you have to do "challenge testing" to find out how much of the food you tolerate, and what ingredients in the food are to blame. For instance: wheat can be a trigger. Find a pita that has no extra ingredients but wheat and water - no other grains. Cut it in quarters, then cut one quarter in half again. Eat the 1/8th piece and wait 20 minutes. Water is OK. If no reaction, eat 1/4 and wait 20 minutes. Then try 1/2, and after waiting eat a whole one. If nothing happens you can eliminate wheat. I thought I had a problem with wheat because I refluxed after big bagels with lots of stuff on them. It was the extra stuff, not the bagel. Likewise I had a problem with maple syrup but not the waffle. Amounts matter too! I can eat one but not two.

It'll take a couple of months to find all the foods! Don't rush. I googled food allergies and each of my specific foods and finally found that I am sensitive/intolerant/allergic to sulfites. You could have a problem with MSG, or any number of other foods or additives.

I now avoid all processed foods, but the fresh or frozen foods (except for frozen potato products) are fine. Additives are not noted unless they exceed extremely high levels, and not if they were not added by the manufacturer but came in from where they bought ingredients. For example: mixed spices usually have pepper. But pepper is made by roasting the peppercorns over charcoal fires, where they get sulfited. Corn is clean, but it is soaked in a sulfite bath to soften for processing. So I have to avoid corn starch, corn meal in USA. In Mexico I can eat tortillas because they just grind them clean.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 7/2/2010 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Candybia, that you need to relax and stop looking for problems. Many people have GERD over many years and will not get esophageal cancer. You're on medications that protect you from that, anyway.

It's a bummer that you're having to deal with this problem at such a young age, but you're not alone. There's no doubt that the reflux is causing your cough and throat clearing, but please stop worrying about cancer! The medications you are taking are the ones that are meant to protect your esophagus from erosive acids. You may be getting some bile reflux, but that's not as erosive as acid.

The surgery might be something that could help you. I'm sure your GI docs will continue to consider that as an option. From what I've read, a cough like yours is only cured by the surgery about 50% of the time. This shouldn't dissuade you, though. I have asthma that was made worse by the reflux, and like a cough, it's not as consistently helped by surgery. I had the surgery anyway, and was helped tremendously.

Quit reading things that are making you crazy about cancer risks. Follow your GI doc's advice and stay on your meds. If you don't feel like you're being helped, go back to your doctor, or find another who listens to your more respectfully. There is help, and you don't need to worry. You're already doing all the right things.

Best wishes!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/20/2010 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   

I am glad you are feeling better with the water ionization machine.

To the best of my knowledge, uptake of water occurs mainly in the intestine, not in the stomach. But when stomach contents enter the intestine, they are neutralized and made alkaline by the pancreatic secretions — so all the water you drink eventually becomes alkaline anyway.

Thank you for your information.



New Member

Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/23/2010 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   

Stop reading and relax.

Like you, I've read way too much negative information and in no way has that helped. Luckily I ran into this board. As stated by the previous posters, once GERD progresses to Barret's Esophagus it doesn't mean it's a one way express ticket to cancer. What calmed me down was what my gastroenterologist told me a month ago, that for the past 25 years of his practice and numerous cases of Barret's, he hasn't had one case where his Barret patient developed cancer. It's all in the monitoring and management, he said.
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