Ten Years Of Gerd, Very Afraid Of Stomach Cancer

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Firelightglow
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 5/13/2014 6:28 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello

I've just joined this community today as I've been scared in the last few months that my chronic gerd has turned into stomach cancer. I know a lot of people with gerd are afraid of this and I've been as dilligent as I can be with scopes and reporting any flare ups that I can't control to my doctor. I've been on Nexium 40 mg for years and it seemed to help up until the last two years, so my Nexium was doubled to twice a day and that also helped for a short time. Now I have symptoms that feel like I'm taking absolutely nothing at all and it almost seems like it did ten years ago, I find I'm also taking a spoonful of Gaviscon before bed and sometimes at noon. I've been doing all the right things food wise, haven't had coffee for years, in the last week have even stopped drinking tea, which I love, but I'm desparate to stop this awful feeling in my chest and ribs, and I feel that "something stuck in the throat" feeling again. I don't eat junk food or fast food, I'm not over weight nor do I smoke or even drink, but I've been told it probably all started from chronic stress through the years. Anyway, lately I've had a diagnosis of anemia, and even though a colon cancer kit showed to positive windows for occult blood, my colonoscopy was normal. I know I shouldn't google, but a lot of the things I've read all point to a stomach cancer, so I'm really scared from day to day, I'm not ready to leave this world yet but this feels really bad. If anyone else has had a relapse I'd sure like to hear from you. I have another scope scheduled, but I wonder if a stomach cancer could develop in two years, I guess no one can really answer that. sad

Andy1986
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1156
   Posted 5/14/2014 1:15 AM (GMT -6)   
What have you read that makes you think of stomach cancer? If you haven't had any problems with your actual stomach (like gastritis, nausea, vomiting) then I dont think this is likely. People with GERD usually are worried about esophagus cancer, but there is a precursory stage called Barretts esophagus which can be diagnosed with endoscopy and even with that there is only a small chance of it developing into cancer.

Have you tried a different PPI? It could be Nexium isn't that great for you anymore, but there are alternatives.

Stress has a big impact on stomach acid production, so when you are feeling stressed try some deep breathing exercises. I have the same problems with anxiety, here is a thread which discusses ways to relax www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=3074958

Firelightglow
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 5/14/2014 6:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I've read that it's hard to swallow food, and the stomach feels full with just a small meal, blood in the stool, which I've had, and anemia, which I also have. The last scope I had two years ago showed moderate inflammation, my barium swallow showed mid chest reflux. That's why I'm thinking cancer in the stomach or esophagus. It's just a big fear of mine with having this condition that seems to never really be in control, I didn't consider that the Nexium would stop working after all these years and I certainly have had my share of stress. I'll read the information that you offered though and hope the scope comes out as being the same as it did two years ago at least. Thank you.

Cristian
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 5/14/2014 10:43 AM (GMT -6)   
From my limited knowledge, heartburn/GERD is not a major risk factor for stomach cancer. It can be for esophageal cancer, Alex summed it up pretty nicely. I suggest you get an endoscopy if you are that worried, I worry about myself a lot too, I've had esophageal problems for 7 years, best thing you can do is go to the doctor and get checked out.

Firelightglow
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 5/16/2014 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Gerd is a major risk factor for esophageal cancer, I just read that, along with Barrettes esophagus, and only 10% survive that. I feel so down in the dumps and the wait for my scope is close to unbearable, much like the horrible feeling I have in my stomach and throat. I feel as though I have a rubber band squeezing my ribs and it's hard to swallow.

Croftboy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 9/4/2014 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi firelightglow I've only just seen this post and was very ineterested to know what happened and how you are as I am going through a very similar thing where my omeprazole did work at a very low dose (10mg) but now am on 40 mg and still keep getting flare ups and gastritis
Hope all is well

Firelightglow
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 9/4/2014 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Croftboy

As it turns out, I ended up having a scope done July 2/14. and it was clear for lesions, ulcers, celiac disease, esophageal cancer, and even Hpylori. However, since I mentioned having a "lump in the throat" sensation that never seems to go away, he said that I had " globus pharyngeus". It can be caused by a variety of issues including stress, which, who wouldn't have stress worrying about what is going on with your stomach. I also ended up having a colonoscopy because that had come up positive for occult blood, but that to was clear. I still am having stomach trouble, but the major flare up has stopped for now, I can't say that I ever eat and feel comfortable after, I guess that will never change in spite of watching what I eat. I have raised the head of my bed and that also seemed to help, I take 40 mg. Nexium a half hour before eating breakfast, and a half hour before eating dinner, taking a spoonful of liquid Gaviscon before bed, also has seemed to help. I don't know when the lump in my throat feeling will go away, but I try to ignore it during the day and I'm able to swallow okay so far. I'm due to have a test called manometry in October, I'm not sure if I'm a candidate for Nissen Fundoplication, as I don't ever feel burning, just uncomfortable full feeling most of the time, but I guess I'll see. My anemia doesn't seem to be connected with my stomach problems so that's good to know, that's another story altogether and also somewhat under control.

I hope this helps out, I was sure I had a much bigger problem as you've read from my previous posts, it really felt that bad. Living with this stomach problem is just hell most of the time, it's hard not to focus on it everyday, but I'm sure you and countless others know what I'm saying. Best of luck.

Kim

Pat Tall
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2012
Total Posts : 950
   Posted 9/4/2014 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Suggest that you might want to Google "anemia and PPI." When acid is suppressed and pH rises ,-- then that has an effect on absorbing iron from foods. The stomach needs the acid to get the iron out of the food. . (I'm not good at the technical language to bring my point out.). From PPI use , we became anemic, elevated bilirubin, low calcium (fractures occur), elevated ALT and AST among other labs. The literature has a lot of information on these effects.

Also, the PPI works on the proton pumps,-- some of the doctors add an H2 that works on other histamine pumps in the stomach and they improve with this addition.

I know your doc is prescribing the dosage and that is good to stay in touch with him/her. Ask about the H2 and maybe you can cut back on higher dosage of the PPI. Also, you might want to read the OTC package to see how long duration one should be on PPI medicine. It is just a few weeks, then off then go back on if necessary.

Coming off the medicine is very difficult due to the rebound effect.
I wish you well very quickly. This is a hard illness but the forum helps so many. We took 7 months to titrate off PPI medicine due to their effect on our lab results.

This is only our personal experience and should not be done but under your docs instructions. Take care. Pat

escapin
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2014
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 9/4/2014 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Firelightglow, I just read your post. I have some of the same symptoms. I have been diagnosed with gerd and take omeperazole daily. My biggest problem is feeling full after eating a very small amount of food. Im so full it hurts. Since my symptoms began almost 2 years ago I have lost 80 pounds due to pain and lack of appetite. I sometimes get the stuck in the throat feeling. I was told that's a symptom of gerd. I now have been told I have functional dyspepsia with visceral hypersensitivity. Ive been on a new med for a month no relief. If anything im worse. Have you had a gstric emptying study for the fullness? Mine was borderline so my doctor wont diagnose me with gastroparesis. It could be your problem though. Ive also been told I have gastritis. Im very frustrated as well. Hopefully we can both get an answer. If I truly do have functional dyspepsia im under the impression that its chronic yea me! Good luck in your search

Croftboy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 9/5/2014 1:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Firelightow that is really helpful- I'm so pleases that anything ominous was ruled out! I am actually sitting in the GP waiting room at the moment waiting to discuss my stomach again as it just refuses to settle for more than 2-3 weeks. I am going to ask for an H pylori test and to change my medication to see if that will help- going to ask for Nexium but I gather they are very reluctant to prescribe it here in the UK because of the cost- will keep you posted and hope things pick up for you- the forum is a godsend as no one understands how miserable and depressing it is unless you've been there x

Croftboy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 9/5/2014 5:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Update to last post - test for H Pylori in 2 weeks time but I have to stop taking Omeprazole for 2 weeks which I'm pretty worried about as if affects the result - but my Dr has given me Ranitidine to cover me for that period- v nervous about rebound having been on Omeprazole for approx 8 years! If positive will treat for h pylori if negative will try me on Nexium so I'm pleased with that

Firelightglow
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 9/5/2014 6:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad to hear that they'll change your medication for and I sure hope the Nexium works, sometimes that's all that's needed when you have a long flare up. It is nice to have this site to compare notes and get idea's and just share in each others suffering, it can be so debilitating to live with this as everyone here knows full well. Nexium is expensive but our drug plan through work pays for it, however, I refuse to take the generic brand so it doesn't cover the whole amount, but a big chunk of it. When I have the manometry test in Oct. which is a thin tube that goes into the nose, down the throat, and into the stomach to check for pressure and stomach acid, I to will have to stop taking the Nexium, that thought bothers me more then the test does, 24 hours without Nexium will have a very painful rebound effect on me and I'm afraid it will cause another long flare up, but I suppose it will be good to know how much acid and pressure there is with this mid chest reflux.

Let us know after awhile if the Nexium has worked. I also had to start drinking an herbal tea instead of orange or black tea, that was hard on me, I don't like herbal tea..lol. I started watching what I ate to, but ended up losing a fair bit of weight as I feel full really quickly, I hate that more than anything.

Croftboy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 9/5/2014 7:47 AM (GMT -6)   
yes hate the weight loss thing-i lost a bit when it flared up in April and I cant put it back on-ironically I wanted to lose about half a stone (even though Im pretty slim) as I was just getting a little thick around the middle so had done the 5/2 diet intermittently last year:) I lost more than I wanted to though so Im now about 1/2 a stone off what I would prefer to be.
Re the rebound -I am really worried about that and praying that the ranitidine will stop any problems-first dose this evening having had an omeprazole 20 this morning. V Nervous!
Good about the nexium my GP told me that up until recently in our health area it was on a 'blacklist' ie she was not allowed to prescribe it even though she said they had been doing so at the ENT dept at a hospital no more than 20 miles away!
Pleased that at least its an option
Even though in some ways I don't want to have H Pylori it would certainly explain a great deal re my symptoms!
Hope all goes well for you -you are clearly braver than me re tests x :)

treeofstars
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 9/5/2014 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Croftboy, are you getting an upper-endoscopy?

Croftboy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 9/5/2014 9:37 AM (GMT -6)   
No-not yet anyway-always had a paranoia of them as I observed when I was a nurse (admittedly many years ago) which gave me the fear. I guess its inevitable though that sooner or later it will happen-I always hoped that by the time I needed one technology would have improved! It has as now I understand they have pill cams but that will not be with the NHS here for years I am guessing and I cant afford private as I've taken early retirement -as a University lecturer I did have cover for me and my wife the last few years but my wife's recent experience of private medicine on the policy was so poor I cancelled it -as a nurse myself I saw the corners they were cutting for profit and it worried the hell out of me!!

Firelightglow
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 9/5/2014 12:57 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure what an upper endoscopy is like in the UK, but here in Canada it's quite comfortable. It may look invasive to watch someone else get one, but when you're sedated, with numbing spray in the back of your throat, you really don't feel anything, and the sedation was really great, I didn't know what was going on, so no discomfort or anxiety during the procedure anyway. I had one years ago in a scoping clinic and I was really upset afterward at the idiot who did it, there they chose to place the scope in before I was put out, and they didn't sedate me, they put me to sleep, so it was different and I chose not to go that route again. If I could have found the doctor afterward, I would have told him off, but I think he was an exception to the rule because most scopes are really over and done easily, and nothing to fear. You may not need one right now anyway Croftboy, they will likely just try you on different medication to see if they can get things under control that way. I think the manometry test is more annoying then anything, I watched it on You tube to see what I'm in for.

Croftboy
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2014
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 9/6/2014 3:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks that is good to hear -trouble is everyone I meet says how awful it is so it doesn't help the anxiety! :) I think it depends where you go -I have heard of some places who wont sedate you (!) no way I would do that -maximum amount of drugs legally allowable for me :)
First day on the Ranitidine today after first dose last night-slept fine but a bit 'acidy' this morning and felt/feeling a bit nauseous and hoping my body will adjust quickly to a very different type of drug but having been on Omeprazole for 8 years it might be rough -thanks again xx
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