Acid Reflux leading to carcinoma

Problem with certain asthmatic medications is that they cause Acid Reflux which can scare the lung, and as I recently found. Can cause cancer of the oesophagus. Having had three different CT scans, standard, special one at Mount Vernon Specialist cancer hospital, where injected with radioactive substance, and a dye injected one, plus five various endoscopes, one where large biopsy taken, confirming tumour. Operating to remove 30cm of oesophagus and 10cm of stomach, and join two together again. Because of health conditions, chance is 2/1. Better if nil if dont have it. Surgery on 5th May, take year to fully recover. ITU upto week, they HDU. In 3/4 weeks then nursing home 1/2 months. When eating properly, 6 kiddy portions per day, as stomach be much reduced.

27 Replies

  • So sorry to hear of your problems. I too have acid reflux did not know until consultant told me, I now have voice problems. Very best wishes your surgery goes o.k. sending lots of supportive hugs .♥♥♥

  • Watch out starveycat I tell you this acid reflux is insidious. Xx

  • Hello sorry to hear you have been unwell. I have been well aware that all those asthma meds gave me reflux when I started to have a permanent sore throat and earache! It's the ear  infections that alerted the GP and I take omeprazol 20mg permanently going up to 40 mg if I have a heavy steroid programme.

     It is useful but not good for the bowel so I have been told because it just pushes back the acidity into the bowel and I had cramps I never had before. So I have been taking porridge cooked in water in the morning, stewed apple, live yoghurt and I have added prune juice! And I'm ok with Colofac on top of the rest!

    Meds are not fun but we have to make do..

    Take care xxx

  • I'm confused by this.  Proton pump inhibitors (which is what omeprazole is) reduce the levels the acidity in the stomach (hence the use of the term 'inhibitor').  As far as I'm aware they do not relocate the acid to another part of the digestive tract.  

  • Hi Maggie well i don't know. im better taking all these food items..i had bad adbominal cramps so that's what I was told. Xx

  • I've never heard, nor read, that PPIs do this.  Personally, I don't like taking them. They have a whole raft of side effects and are a complete nightmare to come off from if you've been on them for any length of time (month or more).  

  • Reading through the above posting I ought perhaps to clarify.  I've never heard, nor read, that PPIs relocate stomach acid to another part of the gastrointestinal tract.

    That doesn't mean, of course, that the PPIs weren't the reason for the abdominal cramps.  They might have been, but for a different reason.  

  • Hello, so sorry to hear what the meds have done to you over the years, but thank you for sharing this so that others can also see what the risks are with some medicines. I truly hope that things will work out for you in the next 12 months, it seems like you have a pretty positive attitude towards things and that is half the battle. Take care.

  • What certain asthma medications are you talking about? I have been on Fostair for a few months and have reflux but my doctor is adamant it is not the Fostair. I believed him but I now have my doubts! I do not want to take lanzaprazole long term because of the side effects but living with reflux is not nice either.

  • Yes for me it started with Fostair too.

  • But I must say antibiotics or pred didn't help either so who knows. Just when I understood what it was I told the GP and the respiratory specialist put omeprazole 20mg in his letter

  • Omg! I knew it was the Fostair but he was not having any of it so now what do I do? I have an appointment at the Chest Clinic next month so I will see what the consultant says there. Everything I take I get side effects and they are worse than the original complaint!!

  • As I said I was on Fostair but a couple of years but also had clarythromycin as antibiotic which was awful for the stomach and prednisilone idem when I had chest infections. So we can't know for certain. How much fostair did you take a day, how often were you on antibiotics or oral steroids?? All this comes into it. Now I am on Seretide 250mg 2 puffs 2 to 3 times a day and I bet if I wasn't on omeprazole I would be doubled up in pain.. 

  • I have just been increased to Fostair 200 two puffs twice a day but I am only taking one puff twice a day as it is under control at the moment. I was on 100 mg twice a day but he said I was wheezing so that is why he increased it. He has now given me Nexium 10 mg gastro resistant granules sachets to drink instead of Lanzaprazole. 

  • It's light it's ok I was taking 8 puffs a day. 

    Take care xxx

  • I have never been told that steroid inhalers cause reflux and I was under the care of a gastroenterologist for two years (he discharged me seven months ago).  Now I'll admit that he wanted me off the inhalers, but that was not because of reflux (and he was aware that I had reflux issues).  He wanted me off them because he thought they were (at the very least) a contributory factor for oesophageal thrush which he discovered in the oesophagus.  If they were responsible for causing reflux I have no doubts whatsoever that he would have mentioned it.

    I did know that reflux can (very rarely) result in cancer of the oesophagus.  As I understand it, persistent reflux can result in something called Barretts Syndrome, and it is this syndrome which can, again rarely, result in cancer.

  • If you çut out all citrus, pineapple, tomatoes, wheat it helps with the reflux, also if you only drink decaffeinated tea and coffee lactose free milk cheese etc ( no chocolate boo hoo) it helps.  I have stuck to this for 6 months and it helps, bed head raised off course.

    Remember it is not what you cannot eat but what you can helps . I forgot to say you have to also cut out onions and spicy food, but hey chips are great :-) 

  • :)))

  • It's worth remembering that there are a number of things that can cause GORD.  Being overweight, stress, certain foods (fatty or spicy), large helpings of food, coffee and chocolate, pregnancy, certain medical conditions pre-dispose you to it, and smoking won't help either.  And yes, apparently some medications will cause it.  It's very easy to blame it on inhalers, but there are a lot of other things that could be responsible.  After all, reflux is really quite common in the general population.

  • I agree that there can be other causes for acid reflux.  My asthma nurse said that specialists still don't know whether having asthma means you are more likely to have GORD or if having GORD aggravates an existing asthma condition.  I also read that using steroids for so long weakens the muscles that block the stomach acid from backing up the oesophagus.  As I have had asthma since a child, I really only started suffering routinely from acid reflux when I was pregnant with my first.  I was really bad when I was pregnant with my second and it has never calmed down since (she is 7 now!).  I think when my reflux is bad, I am more likely to have asthma issues so I currently take omeprazole as the ranitidine has stopped having an effect.  As my health has been bad most of my life, I wouldn't be surprised at what comes next. :( 

  • That's interesting because like you I've had asthma since I was a small child (3 years old) and I'm now in my fifties.  I was put on steroid inhalers when I was in my late twenties.  I suffered from heartburn with both my pregnancies (don't know if that resulted from reflux, but given that we now know I have joint hypermobility syndrome I think it's reasonable to assume it was); it was worse with the second pregnancy.  The real problems with reflux have only started in the last few years and the suspicion is that in my case gastroparesis (it takes longer for my stomach to empty than is normal) is at least partly to blame.   It has caused some confusion a couple of times: are my asthma symptoms down to asthma, or down to reflux?.  Reflux can irritate the trachea, resulting in asthma like symptoms. Steroid inhalers and ventolin don't hit it if reflux is causing the problem.  I have now learned to distinguish between the two: the absolute giveaway with me is that if it is down to reflux, the asthma symptoms will start within an hour of eating food (some foods, usually fatty foods cause more problems than others).  If it is asthma the problems are there all the time.  

    I am not overweight (if anything I hover on the brink of being clinically underweight).  I can't eat chocolate now (wistful sigh!!), nor spicy food, and have to be very, very careful with jam and citrus fruit.  Portion sizes have to be watched as well, as does timing when I eat any meal.  Drinking coffee is out, as is tea and red wine.  

    PPIs are something I try to avoid.  Thrush has been found in my oesophagus on two occasions (resulting in oesophagitis the second time) after I have been on it.  It is a very, very rare side effect (and I do stress that), and we can't prove that the lanzoprazole was to blame but I don't like taking them.  I use gaviscon advance to help with any reflux issues I have.

    It is tough.  You think you've got on top of one condition (and my asthma is well controlled) and then another one pops up.

  • The hypermobility is an interesting point. My son has hypermobility in his joints and both my son and daughter suffer from joint pain when it comes to growing pains.  Looking back on it, I was a flexible child and I used to get bad pain in my feet to the point that I could barely walk.  No one really knew what was wrong and I guess I just got on with it and grew out of it.  I wonder if that explains somethings too. Thanks. x

  • It's worth noting though that hypermobility and joint hypermobility syndrome are not necessarily the same thing.  Lots of individuals have an element of hypermobility; it is particularly common in children, many of whom lose it after puberty.

    Joint hypermobility syndrome, on the other hand, results from a genetic mutation which affects the way collagen is formed.  So someone with this syndrome may well have issues with other parts of their anatomy on top of those connected to their joints: hyper elastic skin, problems with the gastrointestinal tract etc (women tend to have more problems with it than men, mostly because of hormonal fluctuations connected to our monthly cycle).  As a result, growing out of it is unlikely to happen, although I understand that for women in particular things can improve after the menopause (unsurprisingly, given the hormone connection).  I've also discovered recently that in some cases lung function can be affected - which I'm really rather interested in.  It's certain I do have asthma (my responses to my medication are too good for me not to have it), but I do wonder whether the syndrome has had an impact as well - particularly when it comes to my exercise induced asthma.  

  • Hi I have heard that between 10-15% of copders can have acid reflux.  It makes sense that it is more common in asthmatics as well.   x

  • Yes, but that statistic is only relevant if that percentage is significantly higher than would be found in the general population.

  • Oh I'm so aware I run a HUGE risk of developing this carcinoma. Im on a plethora of drugs for "Difficult Asthma" inc 10mg Pred  permanently, 3 inhalers, theophylline, the lot. I'm on max dose reflux meds but I get such severe reflux with every single dose of Mycofenalate I have to take to suppress my immune system to attempt to control my "Difficult Asthma", a symptom of Churg Strauss Syndrome big nasty which itself is terminal if the Eucinophils aren't stamped on HARD, but flares from time t time. This reflux was so severe on one occasion I was unable to swallow my own saliva up to an hour after the reflux

     ( despite 40ml Gaviscon Advance gunk that usually works well.)

    The Mycofenalate dose was reduced by 25% at my insistence cos of the risk of oesophageal ulceration, min, let alone cancer is one step too far for me..

     but in just 7 days the Eucinophils had TRIPLED. The Consultant begged me to tolerate the higher Mycofenalate dose in order to control them cos there was nothing else as effective. This was Nov.

    I'm just Out of hospital after Emergency admission for "dangerously abnormal blood results" Eucinophils up to 1950 ( Shouldn't be above 500 really, he said.)

    I'm now up from my 10mg Pred to 40mg in an attempt to gain control of these white blood cells cos with Churg, if not controlled, they can attack my heart or brain, which my Consultant told me on discharge, but I've known this for some time.. It's been 10 days now & there's no talk of reducing the dose, so levels are obviously still too high.

    Nothing has controlled these Eucinophils & thus the Asthma attacks like the Mycofenalate Mofetil as the Prednislone was becoming increasingly ineffective. So, I have no choice, tho frankly I'd rather go with severe asthma attack than have Oesophageal cancer to cope with.

    I wish you all the luck in the world. I will be thinking of you on 5th May. Please let me know how you get on..

    Sending Hugs & Blessings


  • Yes with severe asthma and LAM now I am grateful for good days when I can breathe! I take  every med they give me and the ones for the secondary effects 😃 and count my blessings! Exercise and respiratory physio have been my best friends.

You may also like...