Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Risk Factors

Do you have any of the risk factors for esophageal cancer? What are they, and what are your concerns?

Comment from: myownsaviour1144, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: January 16

Well, I'm not a patient for esophageal cancer, but since this is listed under the "risk factors" section and it's asking about them I will answer. At age 20 I was diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and was told that it was so bad that it was eating away at my esophagus and that, if I had not gotten treatment when I did, I would have developed Barrett's esophagus (which, as this site mentions, is the most statistically significant precursor to the development of esophageal adenocarcinoma). So whenever I have chest pain, or I spit up blood (which happens very rarely and only immediately after I eat, which gets me wondering if I'm not somehow biting my tongue or something when I'm eating and I'm not noticing it) I start to wonder: is it cancer? GERD should not cause people to spit up blood, regardless of how bad it is. If a person is on a PPI (proton pump inhibitor), as I am and have been for years, this is especially true. Last endoscopy was done in February 2008 and the doctor said everything was great and the Nexium was doing wonderfully because there was no erosion in the esophagus. Yet, symptoms of GERD continue, which makes me wonder if reflux isn't still happening anyway (i.e., when experiencing strong emotions, whether anxiety or joy does not seem to matter). And if the reflux is still happening, then every day that goes by is another day closer to esophageal adenocarcinoma, since GERD has been shown to be such a huge risk factor for this disease.

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Comment from: suzshopr, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 14

I have suffered with acid reflux for the last 5 to 6 years. Being self-employed, medical Insurance was not a luxury at the time. After being forced to obtain Insurance, I received my first esophagus scope. No surprise; I had severe ulcers, several cancer poll-ups, thankfully a negative biopsy for cancer and Barrett's. Doctors treated the ulcer with several medications and prescription antacids, but on my return scope, to their surprise, it had worsened. This highly accredited doctor was telling me it was the worst he had ever seen. And on this scope I tested positive for Barrett's Esophagus. Nothing helps the acid. Third scope found a severe ulcer in my stomach that they are preparing to operate on in three weeks. I sleep sitting up, I have changed my diet so much over the years, but even water seems to cause acid. There is not one day of my life that I do not feel acid rising in my throat, even when I'm sitting up. I feel like there has to be something else that is the culprit of this acid. The doctors seem stumped, and are treating the obvious, but it isn't helping. There has to be something else.

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Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms and Signs Question: What were the symptoms and signs you experienced with esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis and Stage Question: What is your esophageal cancer prognosis? What stage is your esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Types Question: Do you or someone you know have adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus? Please share your story.
Esophageal Cancer - Diagnosis Question: What kinds of tests and exams led to a diagnosis of esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy, did you receive for esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Surgery Question: Please describe the surgical experience you or someone you know had for esophageal cancer.
Esophageal Cancer - Doctors & Second Opinion Question: How did you go about getting a second opinion for your esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis & Follow-Up Care Question: What type of follow-up care did you receive for your esophageal cancer?

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