GERD or Esophageal Cancer maybe? Scared.

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
33 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2 
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/22/2012 12:54 AM (GMT -6)   
I wasn't sure where to post this but here goes. A little history first. Back in June I started experiencing extreme panic and anxiety attacks. I was put on medication for depression and the attacks have since improved greatly. During the attacks I developed the feeling of a lump in my throat. I was convinced it was cancer but my doctor reassured me that I didn't have cancer and rather it was one of many of my body's responses to the attacks. I still could not eat for three weeks afraid I would get the lump feeling again. The lump feeling has since gone away but now has been replaced with my regurgitating foods on a regular daily basis. My doctor believed it to be caused by an ulcer or gerd and put me on a medication to treat it. It didnt help after taking it for a month so he switched me to a generic prevacid. I was on it for fourteen days but still having the regurgitation problem so I read up on it and found out that I should also have changed my diet. I am overwieght as well as a smoker although I do not drink. I am thirty four years old and I'd say for the past week with the diet change and the cutting down on smoking the regurgitation has improved greatly although I have burped up food two or three times during that period. I also sometimes feel like food is sticking at the back of my throat especially in the morning when I first wake up. I have had three children and all three times had severe heartburn but have rarely experienced heartburn oustide of pregnancey. I have an appt with my doc on the thirtieth and he said if it's still bugging me he will get me in to see a GI doctor. Do you think I could possibly have esophageal cancer? I do not mean to come off as taking this lightly. I do realize that cancer is serious as I have had a grandmother who passed away fairly young from brain tumors. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated and God Bless

Post Edited By Moderator (opnwhl4) : 11/22/2012 12:00:12 AM (GMT-7)


opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/22/2012 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
ThankfulJenn-

Welcome to Healing Well.

First of all take a deep breath and relax a bit. What you are describing is very common GERD symptoms. I have quite a bit of cancer in the family to and have been dealing with GERD for over 24 years without developing cancer.
Have you been to a GI doctor yet? If not I would see about getting into one soon. They can better deal with GERD than your PCP. A couple tips would be to not eat 3 to 4 hours before you go to bed, raise the head of your bed 4 to 8 inches, keep a food diary and write down what you eat that triggers the reflux. There are many GERD friendly diets on the web too. Some people use a wedge instead of raising the head of their bed, but don't just raise your head. You have to keep your upper body on an incline to help keep the acid and such down where it belongs. If you just raise your head you put more pressure on you stomach and things get worse. I can recommend a good wedge, but I would prefer you emailed me for that info.(my email is on my profile, just click on my user name)

A bit more about the cancer issue. Esophageal cancer goes through 3 stages before cancer. I have the first stage called Barretts Esophagus and have had it over 6 years without it advancing any further. A very small percentage of people who do develop barretts ever have it advance to dysplasia.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/22/2012 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou so very much for your prompt reply.  It is so comforting to talk to someone who knows what I am going through!  I am definatly going to make an appt with a GI doc and work further on getting this under control.  I would also like to send you an email so I can get that information on the wedge.  Again, thankyou so much for answering my questions.  Seems like no one else was willing and it means a lot to me.  I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving! wink

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/22/2012 3:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I would just like to add something else.  Please forgive.  As you will see, I can be somewhat of a nuisance.  I have a bruise like feeling inbetween my right breast and sternum...if I press on it I can't feel it but if I turn a certain way I can. It comes and goes. Sometimes when I eat though rarely I can feel it but it's so quick I can tell if it's because of the way I was sitting or turned or if it's food getting stuck?  I sound like a total paranoid idiot and I realize I will know much more when I see the GI Doctor but I can't help but be scared.  I also realize it's Thanksgiving so I'm sure your busy but whenever you can I'll be waiting for a reply.

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/23/2012 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
ThankfulJenn-

Don't worry about asking questions here. That's the whole point of this site and why we have hung around for years. Helping others make their way through this nasty disease.

I have had that type of feeling before. I believe it could be from things being irritated inside and the vagus nerve. That dang nerve goes all over and doesn't like to be irritated. As for food getting stuck, usually when that happens you can tell because you can feel it stop and anything else that goes down will back up. Sometimes it will push through and sometimes it has to come back up. I know, not a pleasant idea. LOL!

Shoot me an email any time if feel the need to. We all try our best to help each other the best we can.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/25/2012 9:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Bill, I truly appreciate your information. I'm sorry if I come across as a little crazy lol. I'm happy to report that I haven't had a single episode of regurgitation since before Thanksgiving. It feels wonderful to not be afraid to burp! Gross I know. I have a few more questions at the risk of sounding ignorant or perhaps reduntant. If it were indeed esopageal cancer would the pill mak a difference with the regurgitation? Do you get hiƧcups very often? I seem to get a hiccup or two everyday. And don't know if I've always been this way or its something new. Is there much of a difference betwen GERD and Barret's esopageae and if so what are they? I hope you are enjoying your weekend! Jennifer

Namian
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 410
   Posted 11/25/2012 11:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hiccups are a sign of GERD and gastritis. I have both. GERD is when you have reflux often. You can have reflux without even knowing. When I told my dr. that I only had heartburn when I was pregnant he said I probably only NOTICED it then. Talk to a gastrologist. There are several non-serious things it can be. My brother had issues with the "food getting stuck" and it turned out his esophagus had narrowed. The dr. did a simple procedure to stretch it again.

Barrett's esophagus is when you have such constant reflux that the cells in the lining of your esophagus begin to resemble your stomach lining.

I had an endoscopy a couple of weeks ago. I have a small hiatal hernia (the valve on top of my stomach doesn't close properly allowing stomach acid to get into the esophagus. I have gastritis, which is irritation of the stomach lining, likely due to a milk intolerance (testing gluten next) and there was no sign of Barrett's esophagus or cancer, for which I'm VERY relieved.

I suggest you talk to your gastrologist because I think an endoscopy would give you a lot of peace of mind.

Joy
Namian
Mom to three
Fibromyalgia, Migraines, IBS, GERD, hearing loss, tinnitus, teenagers (I might be kidding)

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 11/26/2012 2:17 AM (GMT -6)   
ThankfulJenn-

Good to hear you have been doing better lately, As for hiccups...yep have them quite a lot. People with GERD tend to swallow more often to help keep things down and swallow more air resulting more gas and I think it may contribute to the hiccups as well.

I don't believe using PPIs would mask signs of esophageal cancer. As for Barretts, it is the changing of the cells as Namian said. This is from the esophagus being in contact with stomach acid way more than it normally would. You can think of it kind of like a callus, the more irritation the more callus. By changing to stomach cells it tries to protect itself since those cells are able to handle the acid.
There are 3 stages before cancer in the esophagus. Barretts, short segment dysphasia, and long segment dysphasia. Even if you do develop Barretts the chance of it changing to cancer are very very low. Something like less than 1%. I have had Barretts for over 7 years with no advancement.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

incontrol23
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/26/2012 4:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I so appreciate this forum. I've been worrying for over a week (again) that my recurring Acid Reflux and accompanying symptoms means I have some form of throat cancer. I had a bad bout of Acid Reflux over 7 years ago when I was diagnosed (also a small hiatel hernia). Was on Aciphex for a year and my symptoms went away. For the last 2 years my diet has been horrible, gained about 10 pounds and the reflux is back! I'm scared. Going to see my GP tomorrow and have an appointment with my GI in January. Good lucky everyone!

ericapeace2000
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 11/26/2012 6:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I am learning that diet is crucial to this problem. It is really hard to maintain it but it is worth it not to be sick.
GERD Moderator; Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/28/2012 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello to you all and goodmorning wink    This really is a great forum and a great place to go for information.  I really appreciate the information.  As some of you know, regular physician's can rush through much and explain little.  When I first pointed out what was going on with me he really didn't explain GERD, the causes, the symptoms, etc.  but rather put me on the PPI's (although not to throw him under the bus, he's one of the best Docs I've been to).  I hope to see a GI Doc soon.  I'm about an hour away from one (perks of living in a small town, in a small state).  But you are totally right, Joy and thankyou.  I do need to get some peace of mind and stop worrying so much.  Yes I totally agree about the diet, ericapeace.  It also seems when I overeat, my symptoms tend to worsen.  I hope your appt goes well, incontrol.  I'm sure it will!  And of course thankyou so much, Bill.  You are so very helpful.  All of you are, in fact.  I am very thankful for this place.  It has given me some peace of mind and I am so happy for that!  I plan on making an appt with a GI this Friday.  Hope everything goes well, and hope you are all doing well, too! 
ThankfulJenn

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/28/2012 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
ps I don't know why the angry sad face showed up lol...I had put a thumbs up and smiley face. Oh well :)

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/28/2012 3:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Ok now I'm freaking out again.  Just a little anyways rolleyes I looked up the information and it said that a study has been done that shows that people who take ppi's for minor GERD symptoms are more likely to get a certain type of esophageal cancer then those being treated for severe symptoms and Barret's.  It also said that ppi's can mask stomach and esophageal cancer.  I know it's silly to worry and I should just make the appt but I have to make the appt...drive an hour to the GI for the meeting and then wait until they make an appt to have the endoscopy. I recently had my gallbladder removed and that took three months from the initial discovery of the stones, hence why Im here trying to get information.  I don't think I have too much trouble swallowing.  Once in a great while I may get a second long pain in my chest when I"m eating but that's it.  The regurgitation, as I said previously, has stopped which is wonderful but I just can't shake the scared feeling.  My plan of action is to continue my diet change and slowly ween myself off of the ppi's.  I also plan to get into an exercise routine to get myself more healthy.  So what do you all think?  Any reassurance and suggestions are always appreciated!  Yes, I know I sound crazy.  I have been trying to get over this anxiety bull.  I was never this way before I had my children.  Now I just want to do what it takes to be healthy and atleast take care of them until they are all grown up.  I know we all don't get what we want, but this is my only wish.  Anyways, hope you all are enjoying your day, evening!
Sincerely,
ThankfulJenn

freddie231
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/28/2012 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
well, you shouldn't be worried, i've had gerd + gastritis for like 7 months now, and it started with a viral infection :S I had been sick for a week, just a normal cold, the end of the week i started to get sharp pains in the chest when sitting up, it all went away when i layed down. the next day it was better in the morning, i started eating, did some other stuff, then went to the computer and i started feeling the pain again and it got worse and worse, just to the point where i couldn't sit up without extremely sharp pain.
then the next day it was a little better in the morning again and got worse as the day progressed. then by dinner time i've decided to try ignore it cuz i thought it was some weird muscle or something. Ate as i usually do and drank some beer etc. Then it became alot worse and when i tried to sleep i couldn't fall asleep because of the sharp pain. i took an nsaid pill(ipren) and about 30 minutes after it bacme EXTREMELY painful, and then i started to stress out because i couldn't sleep and it felt like my chest was torn to bits form the inside and out. I then went to the ER and they did all kinds of tests pretty fast, and i had so much pain it's undescribable, they couldn't really find anything and missed the whole stomach thing. Well actually they found one thing that they settled on and that was swollen lymphnodes in the stomach area.I got some morphine shots and it got a little better. They then sent me home and when i came home i tried going to bed but it still hurt like hell and it was kind of impossible to fall asleep even when i felt extremely tired from the morphine and not sleeping for 30 hours..

Then the next whole week i just layed in the bed and culdn't understand why it still hurt so much that i couldn't do anything at all just laying down and using the hand to hit on the chest constantly so i wouldn't feel as much pain.

i then started omeprazole which helped a little but only for some days. then time went on and i did some more tests and they checked my stomach with a camera and saw that the whole stomach was inflamed/swollen. they changed meds and increased dosage and added ranitadine, novalucol and gaviscon.
and 6 months later it still isn't good, but it has gotten alot better ofc. I also started with antidepressant for some neuralgia in in the occipital nerve which made my stomach worse when i increased the dosage X)

Just don't worry and it will probably be fine with time, I know it really sucks and it can take a really long time to get rid of it. But seeing that u've had panic attacks and anxiety you should really try to not be worried as much. I mean even if you had the worst disease in history, what good is there to worry about it? we're all gonna die one day either way.

And you should really REALLY stop smoking because if you smoke and have gerd or gastritis, you'll never ever get rid of it. And diet change is really good.

Hope this helps a little and that it makes a little sense at least =)
Sincerely
freddie

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 11/28/2012 8:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Thankful Jen,

What study did you come across that said that?

Thanks.

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/28/2012 11:30 PM (GMT -6)   
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/heartburn-meds-tied-to-cancer-308514/  This is the closest I could come to what I read earlier, but I will do some more searching to find the exact site I was at.  I am sorry that you had to go through that much pain and suffering, Freddie!  I know I shouldn't worry and I try not to but it seems that everytime something strange happens with my body I get a little sick and my heart starts beating a little faster.  I want to quit smoking badly.  I hate it so much.  Thankyou for sharing your experience.  I do appreciate it!
Sincerely Jenn

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/29/2012 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Do any of you ever get a tight feeling in your chest?
GERD sufferer as well as a stressed out individual who needs to laugh more!

incontrol23
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 39
   Posted 11/29/2012 3:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I do. 7 years ago when I first was diagnosed, I thought I was having a heart attack. It also radiates to my back. Lately I've been feeling like I have asthma. Stress also exacerbates all of our symptons, so, as hard as it is, try not to let this control your every thought. Believe me, I've been there (and still do). Every little twinge I feel I go to Dr. Google and it makes me feel worse. Try to relax (try some yoga) and just do what you can do, keep a food diary. Hang in there!

ericapeace2000
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 11/29/2012 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I get the tight feeling, sort of like pressure, in my back, but I did used to get it in my chest. This is a GERD symptom and can be scary.
GERD Moderator; Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 11/29/2012 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou Erica and Incontrol!  I go to the doc again tommorrow.  This time I plan on writing down all the questions I have for him as well as symptoms I've been experiencing.  Seems when I go and it's over then I remember all the things I wanted to ask lol.  I keep getting little pains in my chest here and there and I'm almost convinced it's all in my head.  I love yoga and I would love to get back into it.  It really is a great way to relax.  I know exactly what you mean about going to Dr. Google as well.  I don't know how many people have told me to stay away.  I really should.  I would probably be a heck of a lot happier!  Again thankyou both.  I really like this place and enjoy the information that everyone shares.  I've been to a lot of forums and no one was ever willing to talk with me so from the bottom of my panic stricken heart, thankyou smilewinkgrin
GERD sufferer as well as a stressed out individual who needs to laugh more!

ericapeace2000
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 11/30/2012 8:15 AM (GMT -6)   
This forum has done wonders for me to help improve my condition. Doctors, unless they are very knowledgable with the condition or have the condition, do not always know about the diet and alternative remedies. The people who have the condition are the best resources, in my opinion. That does not mean that you shuld not continue with medical help, rather, that there are always different perspectives and options in conjunction to the medical recomendations. Everyone here has been struggling at one point. We all understand the anxiety and stress that comes with the condition. It is amazing to me that people from all around the world can come together to support each other in dealing with this frustrating condition. Hang in there, things do get better and there are still options.
GERD Moderator; Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/1/2012 11:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou very much Erica for your kind words and support!  I went to the doc Friday and he beleived that I shouldn't get an endoscopy, one because it so soon after my gallbladder surgery, and two because I have only been displaying the symptoms of GERD for about three months now.  What do you all think?  I got my gallbladder surgery on the fifth of October.  I think an initial appt and consultation with a GI doc wouldn't hurt.  Another question for you all as well.  Sometimes when I'm eating I'll get a sharp little pain in the center of my chestabout where my esophageas and stomach meet.  It only lasts for a split second and doesn't happen everytime.  Could this also just be irritation?  That's the one question I forgot to ask.  Anyways, hope you all are having a wonderful, pain free, weekend!
Sincerely Jenn
GERD sufferer as well as a stressed out individual who needs to laugh more!

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/11/2012 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all. Its me again. Can see from the lack of responses that my questions were becoming neurotic. I apologize. I have a real question an I really hope someone will be kind enough to answer. My family has been through a lot these last few months. We had a fire and lost our home and then my husband was layed off. Thankfully he found another job bit we had to move ( fourth time this year) and I homschool two children and also hwve a two year old and one year old. Needless to say these last few days have been crazy. I was doing well with not burping food up bu these past few days I have been been having the food in the back of my throat sensation. Does stress make GERD symptoms worse? I really hate the feeling and just wish it would go away!!!

ericapeace2000
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 12/11/2012 3:20 PM (GMT -6)   
So sorry to hear of your recent troubles! It sounds like you have a lot to deal with. Stress and anxiety make GERD a whole lot worse. It causes the stomach to produce more acid which then creates more intense symptoms. You will need to find a way to cope with stress. Unfortunately the condition itself is stressful so it can be a vicious cycle. Just hang in there and work on relaxing more.
GERD Moderator; Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

ThankfulJenn
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2012
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 12/11/2012 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou for the quick reply! ifeel much better about it and will try to ease my mind and find some way to relax. Thankyou very much!
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
33 posts in this thread.
Viewing Page :
 1  2 
Forum Information
Currently it is Sunday, June 24, 2018 2:50 PM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,974,768 posts in 326,206 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 161300 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, sunvsmoon.
388 Guest(s), 5 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Sinmiedo, Girlie, johncl, OriolCarol, BOB 46