Hoping I can get some advice...struggling right now..LPR, GERD or throat cancer

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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/11/2013 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, this is my first post here. I'm male, 50 and live in Canada. For the past few months I've been suffering some throat issues. Pain, burning, feeling of a lump, constantly needing to clear my throat. I've also had some minor ear pain as well. I rarely get heartburn.
I saw an ENT in early June and he did a mirror examination of my throat and said it appears to him that it is all acid reflux related. He sent me for a sinus CT and a barium swallow. Both of which came back normal with the exception of a small mucous retention cyst in my sinus. He also indicated I have a deviated septum which would be easily fixed with surgery. I got the results of the tests on July 9th.
He advised me to see my GP to get PPI's or other medications which will help with the acid reflux. Unfortunately my GP closed his office at the beginning of July for the summer and will not re-open until the first week of September. The ENT is now retired and I can no longer see him. He did recommend another one to do the septum surgery but as my GP's office is closed I cannot get a referral right now. In Manitoba you can't make your own appointments with specialists, you need to be referred by a GP.
My concern is that this is not LPR or GERD but could be something much worse like throat cancer. I think I'd probably be feeling a little more confident in a diagnosis of acid reflux if he had done a scope rather than just a mirror exam. What makes this all so much worse is I have terrible health anxiety and have had it for years. I was going to a therapist for it, however she closed her practice and moved away. I'm still trying to get in to see a new one. So..bottom line is I have no GP for 3 more weeks, I have no ENT for who knows how long and no therapist to help with the anxiety. I'm really flying solo here and hoping someone can reassure me a little that my symptoms are probably acid reflux. Sorry this got so long-winded. Thx in advance for any advice or suggestions you can give me, and thank you for taking the time to read my post.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/11/2013 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I would be angry too! Can you change GPs?!

I am sorry you are going thru this - I've not had my doctors close their offices for vacations or retire - but I have had them put me off and minimize my concerns. I too have been diagnosed with GERD - so every complaint I've had in the area of my throat is blamed on my GERD. Honestly - if the doctors hadn't told me I had GERD, I won't have know it! I have few, if any, traditional symptoms of GERD. I too worry that it could be something worse.

Wish I could be more helpful - I just wanted you to know that someone else understands your frustration! Try to hang in there - I'll mention you in my prayers.
HEALTH ISSUES: Chronic Colitis; IBS; GERD; Hiatal Hernia, "patch" on right lung; Subclavian Chronic Stenosis; Asthma (slight).

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/12/2013 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   

Welcome to Healing Well.

Is there any way you can get into a GI doctor? They would be able to check things out better.

I had a deviated septum and sinus turbinates reduced about 10 years ago to help me tolerate CPAP. It is not a nice surgery to go through. If you aren't having some type of serious issue with the deviated septum I would avoid that surgery.

Take care,
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/12/2013 12:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you very much for your replies SayaG and opnwhl4. It is definitely frustrating. The same thing applies for the GI doc Bill...I need to wait to see my GP so I can get a referral. It is certainly something I will mention to him when I see him in September. I imagine an endoscopy is in my near future. Hopefully this can all get sorted out soon so that I can put the throat cancer fears behind me. Thanks again. I really appreciate you both taking the time to read my post and reply.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2013
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 8/12/2013 1:20 PM (GMT -6)   
I have some issues other than GERD that cause GERD throat symptoms to be worse. Therefore, I can make some suggestions that may or may not help, but they do help me.

Benadryl helps some nerve/muscle issues that I have which make the throat symptoms worse than average. I also get a lot of help from MSM, malic acid, and chondroitin.

All of these help with inflammation, especially if you have the slightest disorders related to muscles, nerves, and connective tissue. Sometimes I will even take pseudophedrine on top of Benadryl if my neck is so bad that my throat is hurting from the GERD.

Good luck.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/12/2013 9:23 PM (GMT -6)   
ty Robotaz....I'll see if any of that helps...I just wish I could get the throat ca fears out of my head...unfortunately I don't think anything will do that until I see my doctor

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 8/13/2013 12:16 AM (GMT -6)   

I myself have health anxiety, and am currently 7 weeks pregnant with my second child after being diagnosed with GERD. The pregnancy was totally unexpected, as I was trying to heal my esophagus which has been inflamed for months.

I, too, was primarily concerned that I had some kind of cancer, either in my esophagus or in my stomach, that was causing my problems. I could NOT get that out of my head until I had the endoscopy. I completely sympathize with your frustration. However, I do want to let you know that I HAD my endoscopy, and I DO NOT HAVE cancer.

The truth seems to be that my anxiety causes my reflux. Mine was almost entirely silent as well. I suspect that anxiety causes this in a lot of people. My naturopath has me on some alternative anti-anxiety medication and it seems to be helping with my symptoms. The more I tried to find trigger foods and tried different diets, etc, the more my GERD got worse. The more I try to forget about it, the better it gets. Obviously there is a link between my anxiety and my GERD.

Is it impossible to get a new GP?! If I were you, I'd be putting all my energy into that. I would also try to find ways to relax and soothe the anxiety. You are in my thoughts.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 332
   Posted 8/13/2013 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I doubt you have throat cancer from what i have read

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 8/14/2013 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
tyvm for your replies sidiosquiere and lobstahguy...i'm sure the anxiety is adding to the problems...difficult to find a new GP here, not very many are taking new patients, but i'll definitely try...

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 8/14/2013 11:03 AM (GMT -6)   
Your story sounds familiar to me. I believe I had silent GERD for decades before anyone figured it out. I've had throat problems most my life (sore throats, mucus, throat clearing, etc.), which originally blamed on allergies (tried allergy shots), bacteria (had way too many atibiotics), and on my deviated septum. They "fixed" my nose, but it didn't help me a bit...was literally a pain for nothing. Years go by, I taught piano losing my voice and getting sore throats for decades. I didn't suspect GERD at first because lying down at night never bothered me, in fact it's the best part of my day....so it couldn't possibly be GERD, or so I thought.

Finally, In my 40's I really get bad with the voice loss, develop constant chest pain and tightness in chest, throat (strangling feeling), and my new GP tests for H. pylori (which was negative), sends me to GI who scopes me and does find a stomach ulcer but nothing cancerous or precancerous. I was very surprised to have an ulcer as I didn't really have any stomach trouble I was aware of, or I just thought it was my "normal". My GP also suspected gallbladder for the severe chest pains, several tests later she ended up being right, it was 0% functional. It's gone as are the severe chest pains, but the GERD remained. I still get some chest tightness, but nothing like the gallbladder pain.

Since I'd already tried diet for a year to help with the GERD issue (I really didn't want any drugs), I then tried various drugs (both PPI and non-PPI), some which were intolerable due to allergic reactions, and ended up with Aciphex for the ulcer, which was the only thing that ever helped me and I tolerated well. Some don't like the side effects (I have none) and possible long term use of a PPI, but I've found it's worth the risk because I have my life back, and have been sore throat free and with voice for 2 years now, without one single antibiotic prescribed to me for a "sore throat". I still have some GERD symptoms, but it's tolerable and I've got my life back. I also keep my exercise up, strength train, take supplements, etc. to hopefully counteract the side effects of the PPI.

The point of my story? I'd start with investigating the GERD possibility and rule that out prior to the deviated septum if it were me. I was in my 20's when I had my deviated septum fixed, and the ENT pushed me into surgery as a sure cure, and I hadn't even heard of GERD at that point. It may very well help some, but it did nothing for me.

Post Edited (88keys) : 8/14/2013 10:14:07 AM (GMT-6)

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