Freaked out mom / Barrett's disease / cancer

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Heather jobe
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/30/2014 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
My 11 yr old son had an egd done today and dr said showed some cells that he didn't like the looks of so he is going to do a biopsy. He mentioned Barrett's disease and also cancer and by that time I have zoned out. I wasn't prepared to hear anything other then maybe gerd. I feel like could this have been prevented earlier that maybe I didn't do something earlier and now maybe this gerd has turned into something worse because I didn't do something sooner? My question ? If this biopsy shows positive for Barrett's disease what then? And also what are the odds of a 11 year old having esophagus cancer? And if so ( I'm now crying) how hard is it to treat? thank you for any information this is something that I am not educated on and that I have been thrown into . Any advice - knowledge - answers would be greatly appreciate. Thank you ....

opnwhl4
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Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/30/2014 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Heather jobe

Welcome to Healing Well.

First, please don't jump to any conclusions before the biopsies are back. Many times the GIs think there may be barretts from the looks, but they come back clear. They have to biopsy the tissue in order to know for sure. Even if it is, barretts has an extremely low chance of changing to cancer and there are 2 more stages to go through.

If barretts does show it can be controlled by controlling the reflux or having it ablated.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

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

DOGGBONES
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 1/31/2014 7:41 AM (GMT -6)   
HJ,
As Bill said, don't jump to conclusions and wait for the biopsies to come back.
 
 (IMO) Manuka honey is a great natural healer, I buy wedderspoon active 16+ (the higher the active + the better). I take a spoon full, mix it with warm water and drink as a tasty honey tea (x2 daily) that even kids will like. Manuka honey won't cure gerd but I'm a believer in it's healer power (welcome to do your own research). I was dx with barretts in 2011, after taking the manuka and changing my diet (cut out red meats, soda, choc., chips, red sauce, fast food, candy), I went back for another endo 11 months later and the barretts was gone.
 
I do still struggle with gerd daily, however I continue to take a ppi (evil pills) to help control the reflux and I still watch my diet and drink manuka. There is no magic to cure gerd but if you make changes to life style you can keep the damage it does to a min.
 
You have a long road ahead of you and a lot of education is needed but you have come to the right place. I don't want to step on any toes here but because you are dealing with a child, my advise is to listen to the advise of veteran members. Everyone here has good intentions, however if I'm getting advise for my child, I perfer to get adivise from ppl who have been dealing with gerd for years not someone whom has had it for 6 months and thinks they know everything and may offer bad advise.
 
Good luck and hopefully others here can help as well!

DOGGBONES
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 1/31/2014 7:54 AM (GMT -6)   
HJ,
One other piece of advise, if at any point you feel uncomfortable with the dx or treatment, ask for a referal to a childrens hospital. Your childs ped doc is good for general issues but they do not specialize in tummy problems. Please keep that in mind. When treating a child there's no room for worring about hurting someones ego or feelings.

Heather jobe
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 1/31/2014 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
I thank everyone for your help this is all so overwhelming. I'm in fear of the results phone call. I just want him to be ok. I felt like his pediatric Gi dr was concerned when he was talking about the abnormalities that he found during his egd. This was not anything I ever expected to hear. And I know absolutely nothing on this matter.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 1/31/2014 2:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I would enquire if they have tested for eosinophilic infiltration - it's probably more likely than Barretts in a child. I've bumped up the old Barretts thread for you - as you can see from the studies, the risk of progression is very very low. And as Bill says, they'll look at control of reflux with ablation if it comes to it.

They should also be testing for coeliac disease and Helicobacter as well as allergies in such a young patient, so have your questions ready at your next visit!

MMM
GERD (3 years and counting)
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

phil-uk
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 190
   Posted 2/1/2014 11:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Heather, it is a shock at first to have the possibility of Barretts mentioned.

However it is better to know than not to know. If the biopsy is positive, your son will be regularly screened, and the chances of it progressing will be very unlikely.

Those in the greatest danger are those that have no idea they have Barretts.

Post Edited (phil-uk) : 2/1/2014 9:16:23 AM (GMT-7)


Heather jobe
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/5/2014 2:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Biopsy came back and it is positive for Barrett's. starting him on nexium 2d. I am fairly unfamiliar with this and just would like some advice on questions that I might need to ask the dr. He has another endoscopy scheduled in 2 months and sees the dr in April. Dr told me to avoid fruits and soda. Any other suggestions? I appreciate all the feedback. I appreciate what you all have taught me so far. Scary stuff . Never thought my son would be going through this I just want to help him and protect him from further progression. Thanks .

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 2/5/2014 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Heather, I'll second doggbone's suggestion about Manuka honey. It's ridiculously expensive, but it's a very effective healer. Anti fungal, antibiotic, and anti inflammatory. I take it for my Barrett's. Just a small amount, twice a day, let it melt on my tongue and very slowly and gradually drip down my throat.

Does your son have heartburn pain in the chest, or it it a reflux thing where he can actually taste it in his throat? If he has reflux at night while lying down, as I did, it might be good to raise the head of his bed about 4-5 inches and give him a good thick pillow. He should sleep only on his back or left side, not the right side.

Aloe Vera and papaya juice might also help.

Nexium suppresses acid production, almost all of it. The theory being that if there's no acid in the stomach, then it can't harm the esophagus. The problem with this is that without acid there won't be the proper breakdown of food for extraction of certain vitamins and minerals. While he's on any acid suppressing drug, make sure he takes supplements with calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D3, and B12. Those seem to be the major ones that get blocked, but it wouldn't hurt to take a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement if he isn't already. It's almost impossible to find a multi with enough cal, mag, and D3 in it, so look for individual supplements on those 3.

Only a tiny percentage of those with Barretts lead to more serious issues. You'll get through this.

DOGGBONES
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 2/6/2014 7:53 AM (GMT -6)   
HJ,
You have a lot to take in but you are at the right place for help. Gerd can be and is a very tricky illness to deal with as the symptoms and issues can change from time to time, it's a little different for everyone. I will try to touch base on several items for you.
 
Medical care......I'm sure your ped doc is good, however I can't say it enough, if it were my child I would ask for a referal to a childrens hospital. (I had to due this with 2 of my own children for medical issues) Gerd can be very hard to treat, so it's important to receive the best care and advise you can get. Children hospitals specialize in hard to treat medical issues for children, it's just a matter of using the right tool for the right job.
 
Anti-reflux meds.....there's ppi's (nexium, etc.) h2 blockers (zantec, etc.) they both lower the acid level to prevent damage. However, like rjdriver said these make it harder for the body to break down the goodness your body needs. IMO, you have to be careful with supplements and children as thier bodies can't handle what adults can. For now a childrens multi-vitamin and maybe a mag/cal with vit D supplement would be a good start. You don't want to over tax your little guy. Carafate is a med that coats and protects the throat and tummy but can be hard to take because of timing issues around food, supplements and meds. Tums can be used also, I believe one of the brands have came out with fruity tasty chewables.
 
Sleeping.....everyone is different but normally on your back or left side is best but sleeping with your body (waist up not just his head) on an incline is a must. Most due anywhere from 5 to 8 inches. You can buy beds that incline or prop up the head of the bed with books if money is tight. Just putting pillows under his head is better than nothing but will not work as you need it to in the long run.
 
Surgery......IMO, this should be viewed as a last resort after a long period of trying other things and they didn't work. "If" you ever do, the nissen is the gold standard for gerd, linx is just to new and everything else doesn't have good enough results. Again if you ever find yourself going down that road, NEVER let any doctor near your child for surgery unless they are from a childrens hospital!
 
Diet.....This one is hard for adults, so that makes it even more of a pain to deal with in children. For starters, shame on your ped for the lack of advise (goes back to my childrens hospital comment), about avoiding fruits and soda. It's a lot more detailed than that and it really changes from person to person but there are some of the main bad guys. Anything acidic in nature is a no no, a lot of fruits may or may not cause issues. Oranges almost always does but melons (watermelon, canople, etc.) are normally very soothing and easy on the tummy. You want to avoid foods that are hard to digest, as they will just sit in your tummy and cause more issues. Green veggies are good for you but some ppl have problems with them and others don't. Now for the bad news of food.....you really need to avoid all soda, choc., greasey/spicy, fast food, red sauces (pizza etc), red meat (hard to digest), chips, candy (laffy taffy etc). Yes, it's hard but in time you'll find relacements for most of these things. Some examples....replace soda with fruit punch, hamburger with chicken, turkey, or fish, it just takes time to see what causes issues and what doesn't.
 
Supplements......there's tons of "snake oil" ppl will push, so lets focus on the proven healers and helpers. Again with children I always like to be careful. Manka honey is the best know natural healer there is, like rjdriver said it can get pricey. With manuka the higher the active + the better it is, I use wedderspoon active 16 + brand. I mix it with warm water and make a tasty soothing honey tea. Aloe vera can help heal and sooth also, there are favored brands and you really only need a couple oz a couple times a day. A childrens multi-vit chewable and maybe a cal/mag with vit D, that is probally good enough to start with for now.
 
Barretts......did they mention if it was long or short segments? What was the length and location? Was there any dysplasia? Does he have a hiatil hernia?(This goes back to the right doc for the right job) Some doc confuse were the throat ends and the tummy starts thus they biopsy the tummy that has hernia instead of the throat giving a false positive for barretts. This happens a lot more than ppl think.
 
Well you have a lot to take in but this will help you understand what you are dealing with. We are all here to help each other so don't be afraid to ask.
 
Good luck and stay strong!
 
 

DOGGBONES
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 3/12/2014 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Bump for hj,
Some members have offered some good advice here, I think you will find it helpful.

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 3/12/2014 1:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I am all for manuka honey, even though I don't use it myself.

While we bring it up, though, I think we would be remiss to not also bring up other things whose effectiveness at preventing esophageal cancer is as far as I know much better studied: turmeric, green tea and strawberries. I make a shake daily with a spoon of matcha tea (apparently more powerful, because it is grinded up leaves, not just boiled water), some kind of berries and banana. I also make turmeric tea very frequently.

You can go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/ and search medical studies. Just type "turmeric esophageal cancer" or "green tea esophageal cancer" or what not.

Just remember, if you do drink a lot of tea, the temperature of the tea matters. In my opinion this is why some studies show a positive correlation with EAC. Drinking hot green tea could do more harm than good. And its not surprising, as drinking hot anything is apparently bad for the esophagus based on my understanding. I always let mine cool to room temperature, like a bow-woss.

I always think of Manuka but when I see it, its more expensive than I am willing to pay.

Post Edited (theacidrefluxman) : 3/12/2014 12:05:25 PM (GMT-6)

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