Terrorfied I might have Esophigeal Cancer.

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Mister Gottfried
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Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/30/2012 5:59 AM (GMT -6)   
First off Im 31. Not a smoker or drink by any means. I have had heartburn problems for years now. Sometimes I would treat it with antacids and prilosec, sometimes I would just treat it with sleep as that usually seemd to make it go away. A few days ago I had a sharp pain in my chest that radiated to my right peck seemingly and it only occured when I swallowed a bit of food or drank really cold water. The best way I can describe it is it feels like there is a single spot in my esophogis that hurts when food or cold liquid passes over it. When I eat stuff like warm soup or soft foods I barely feel anything at all. The pain is not severe, just annoying. I went to the doctor the very next day. He looked me over, pressed on me, and sat and had a chat with me. He diagnosed me with esophogitis, doubled up my prilosec, gave me sucralfate to make slurries with, and told me to see him in a week and that if I hadn't improved he would scope me. He talked to me about the need to get my diet changed (which oddly enough I had done on my own not but a week prior along with getting myself into the gym) and get the acid under control so that I wouldn't develop barrets esophagus. Then he mentioned the big C word and talked to me about how barrets can put me at higher risk of Esophigeal Cancer, but promptly stressed that at my age it wasn't a worry. I have been taking the meds for a few days as well as eating only soft non fatty foods and drinking lots of water with only VERY little improvement. Then I read an article about a 33 year old man who died of esophigeal cancer, and I became really really worried. I found out that the only way to diagnose barrets as well as esophogus cancer is with a scope, which my doc didn't perform on me. Is there a reason why he seems so confident that its not anything super serious? Should I be scared to death right now about cancer? Finally, how long does it usually take esophogitus to heal?

Post Edited (Mister Gottfried) : 9/30/2012 5:02:28 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 9/30/2012 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
It takes a long time for esophogeal cancer to develop.
If you want you can insist on your doctor giving you an EGD and other testing.
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Chuck T
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 9/30/2012 1:30 PM (GMT -6)   
It is HIGHLY unlikely that you have cancer. I wouldnt worry about it. Just try and get the reflux under control.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 9/30/2012 2:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah don't worry bro, but the odds are in your favor even were you to have Barrett's. Just eliminate that thought from your mind for now.

But IMHO it would be a good idea to get scoped if you have never been scoped before. Esophageal mucosal state generally doesn't change after your first scope, so if you haven't had one it would be a good idea to at least know the shape your esophagus is in right now (normal, esophagitis, or Barrett's).

But no matter what just take a deep breath and don't worry about cancer right now. It is just my opinion, but I imagine you didn't mention any key symptoms of esophageal cancer (food not going down due to a lump, rapid weight loss, etc.). But in any case get the scope bro just to get an idea of the shape your esophagus is in.

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 121
   Posted 9/30/2012 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with other posters, you need to get the scope to put your mind at rest. I doubt you have the big c based on your age and comments. But go for the scope. I have had reflux for many years with various issue but you need the scope to confirm things are ok.

I truly hope you are ok and wish you well, please for your own health and sanity get checked, take no delay from your doctor you are more important than his budget.

Good luck

Mister Gottfried
New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/30/2012 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks all. I don't have any problems eating, its just when the food gets to a certain point I get an annoying ache for a moment. The pain has gone from a sharp pain down to a momentary ache when food passes over that point. I have experienced some weight loss. Over the last 5 days I have lost 5 lbs and that worries me a little. Then again I have completely changed my diet on a dime this week. No fried foods, all bland stuff now. I was drinking a TON of soda, and now for the last week I have been pushing nothing but water like a mad man which means I have been urinating a lot and likely losing water weight due to that since I hadn't drank a lot of water previous to now. So my symptom is improving, its getting to the point now where there are more bites I take without much pain at all compared to bites I take where there is pain. I don't think my doc meant to scare me or anything, he is an older doctor and extremely good at what he does with an incredible bed side manor. He has been doing this for a long long time and he did tell me how absolutely remote esophageal cancer is not just at my age but even in older people and even in people with barrets. He said he was mainly telling me all this not to save me from possible cancer but to save me from possible barrets so that I don't have to get my throat widened every darn week later on down the line. I have read stories of those one off esophogeal cases where someone young gets it and dies, and that really sort of freaked me out. My follow up appointment is just in a couple of days so we will see what happens then. He said if I hadn't shown improvement he would send a scope down more so to see what is going on with the acid than anything else, and of course he told me if it got any worse to come see him immediately, and it hasn't gotten worse so. I feel a little better about it, but wont stop worrying completely until this clears up all together or I get scoped I guess. Bad part of it all is I am not sure I can afford to get scoped. Job laid me off a few months ago and with it went health insurance. I am currently seeing a doctor at the local university and since my spouse is in school I get sort of a health plan there while school is in session. I have seen two different doctors there for unrelated matters and both experiences were really really good ones.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 9/30/2012 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
it might not be a bad idea to go through with the scope just to be sure.

Post Edited (jsnchrry33) : 9/30/2012 9:12:14 PM (GMT-6)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 10/1/2012 1:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Get the scope done for peace of mind. I agree with everyone else that it is highly unlikely that you have cancer. The diet changes cause a lot of weight to be lost fairly quickly. I lost 20 pounds (i may have only needed to really lose 10) in a matter of 3 months with no exercise. Goes to show how bad I was eating before.
GERD Moderator; Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)
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