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garypayton

esophageal cancer fear

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Hello guys,

how have you been? I had a lot of problems getting into the forum lately, 
I finally made it. I don't know if anyone remembers me and my uncontrollable 
fear of having colon cancer. Well, after the last visit to the gastroenterologist,
 I convinced myself that I didn't have anything serious, and I must say that my gut 
worked well and I was more serene ... until about ten days ago.
Right now I am at 9000 km from home for work. One morning I woke up with an 
incredible pain in the sternum, something I had never experienced in my life so 
much that I thought I had a heart attack. Fortunately, the pain receded after a 
few minutes, but from that moment I started to have strong reflux symptoms. 
No acid, only a lot of air, a feeling of a lump in my throat and 
(the symptom that scares me the most) burning in my chest during swallowing. 
I have been taking omeprazole 20 mg a week, which unfortunately fills my intestines
 with gas and brings me back to having irritable bowel problems.
I'm terrified of having cancer of the esophagus. I know the chances are low since 
I'm 38 and I don't smoke or drink, but fear is making me sick.
 The symptom that scares me most is the burning sensation that remains in my chest 
after swallowing. I would like to know your stories, please, help. Thanks
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17 minutes ago, garypayton said:

Hello guys,

how have you been? I had a lot of problems getting into the forum lately, 
I finally made it. I don't know if anyone remembers me and my uncontrollable 
fear of having colon cancer. Well, after the last visit to the gastroenterologist,
 I convinced myself that I didn't have anything serious, and I must say that my gut 
worked well and I was more serene ... until about ten days ago.
Right now I am at 9000 km from home for work. One morning I woke up with an 
incredible pain in the sternum, something I had never experienced in my life so 
much that I thought I had a heart attack. Fortunately, the pain receded after a 
few minutes, but from that moment I started to have strong reflux symptoms. 
No acid, only a lot of air, a feeling of a lump in my throat and 
(the symptom that scares me the most) burning in my chest during swallowing. 
I have been taking omeprazole 20 mg a week, which unfortunately fills my intestines
 with gas and brings me back to having irritable bowel problems.
I'm terrified of having cancer of the esophagus. I know the chances are low since 
I'm 38 and I don't smoke or drink, but fear is making me sick.
 The symptom that scares me most is the burning sensation that remains in my chest 
after swallowing. I would like to know your stories, please, help. Thanks

This is my current fear as well.  I have what feels like something stuck in my throat a lot of the time, no pain or burning though.  The good news is that acid reflux is VERY common and is most likely what is causing both of our issues.  Yours sounds like what I used to have years ago.  The throat is a very tricky beast and a lot of things can happen that are nothing serious. I have kept my HA at bay so far with this but it has been annoying me off and on for almost two months.   Just to reassure you, what you are describing sounds NOTHING like cancer and EVERYTHING like acid reflux issues.

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Thank you so much my friend,

i forgot to add another boring symptom : the post nasal drip. I always feel like mocus falling in my throat and need to clarify my voice. 

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Just now, garypayton said:

Thank you so much my friend,

i forgot to add another boring symptom : the post nasal drip. I always feel like mocus falling in my throat and need to clarify my voice. 

I get the same.  I also have a cough a lot of the time.  When it comes down to it, I have had a cough since I was a kid that sticks around for months sometimes.  This also causes throat irritation.  Chances are, you have a cold, nasal infection, acid reflux, or a combination.  Fear not.

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My dad died at 75 of throat cancer (not esophagus), but he was a pipe and cigar smoker all of his life, plus he used to drink from time to time.  I don't do any of those things, hope it will help me stay healthy,

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Just now, garypayton said:

My dad died at 75 of throat cancer (not esophagus), but he was a pipe and cigar smoker all of his life, plus he used to drink from time to time.  I don't do any of those things, hope it will help me stay healthy,

Ya, that can be a big subconscious piece to your HA in this area.  The good news is that because you have never done those things the chances are drastically reduced that you will ever see anything like that.  Everyone focuses on the fact that cancer is widespread but no one ever talks about how many people DON'T get cancer at all.  WAAAAY more than people who do.  The odds are truly in your favor.  :)

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Thank you, 

 

are you able to direct your kind words to yourself, or just like me, you are good at reassuring people but not yourself? LOL

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Eh, I know my HA is USUALLY the cause.  Through prayer and giving up my own thoughts I tend to find peace eventually.  I'm not scared now by it, even though it is bothering me.  :)

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Hey gary,

My brother deals with acid reflux/ibs quite a bit as well as anxiety and he describes it pretty much the same as what your experiencing. I've noticed a post nasal drip feeling in my throat before as well with acid relux from time to time. Feels thick and takes extra effort to swallow. The time of year might not help depending on where you live or are at the moment. Lots of alergies this time of year could also contribute to the post nasal drip feeling. I'm sure any kind of stress/anxiety will only enhance the discomfort. My brother has delta with it for years now and he's younger then me so I'm sure your going to be alright.

Take care

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I went through a period where I had the same anxiety. I actually lost weight because I was afraid to eat certain foods as I didn't want to swallow them. There has already been a lot of great advice mentioned in this thread, but one thing that helped me get over that "lump in the throat" feeling was to realize that swallowing is a fairly complex automatic function. We normally don't think about it - we just do it. When we start thinking about the process of swallowing, however, we start not only noticing the process - but it can be easy to then focus on certain aspects that don't feel right. 

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3 minutes ago, SurferJoe said:

I went through a period where I had the same anxiety. I actually lost weight because I was afraid to eat certain foods as I didn't want to swallow them. There has already been a lot of great advice mentioned in this thread, but one thing that helped me get over that "lump in the throat" feeling was to realize that swallowing is a fairly complex automatic function. We normally don't think about it - we just do it. When we start thinking about the process of swallowing, however, we start not only noticing the process - but it can be easy to then focus on certain aspects that don't feel right. 

yes, you're absolutely right. I'm trying not to focus on swallowing, but as i said, the main symptom worrying me is the discomfort in the chest when i swallow food, is like a burning sensation. I know this may be an esophageal irritation due to my bout of GERD, but if you look it up online it says i may have a mass, etc etc. Obviously now i'm worried i may have not noticed my reflux in these years and now i have something bad, etc etc. You know, i would not be here if i wasn't like that

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My dad passed away in 2014 after having esophageal cancer for a year and a half or so. It was caught very early, but surgery and chemo were not options. Location as well as general physical condition didn't allow it. He did radiation for 6wks early on. He was a long time smoker (pipe and cigarettes), had a history of heavy / hard drinking, pill and other drug addictions. He quit all of that no later than 1992, but it caught up with him. He also had uncontrolled / undercontrolled GERD for many years. All of that combined is a recipe for disaster.

He didn't have any damning symptoms until the later stages of the esophageal cancer. He did have the lump in the throat sensation, among other things, caused by GERD. But those same symptoms in the context of the cancer were very different. Much more severe and persistent. He had also lost a lot of weight in the first 6mos alone, and he never did chemo.

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28 minutes ago, bin_tenn said:

My dad passed away in 2014 after having esophageal cancer for a year and a half or so. It was caught very early, but surgery and chemo were not options. Location as well as general physical condition didn't allow it. He did radiation for 6wks early on. He was a long time smoker (pipe and cigarettes), had a history of heavy / hard drinking, pill and other drug addictions. He quit all of that no later than 1992, but it caught up with him. He also had uncontrolled / undercontrolled GERD for many years. All of that combined is a recipe for disaster.

He didn't have any damning symptoms until the later stages of the esophageal cancer. He did have the lump in the throat sensation, among other things, caused by GERD. But those same symptoms in the context of the cancer were very different. Much more severe and persistent. He had also lost a lot of weight in the first 6mos alone, and he never did chemo.

Sorry, but your reply seems to enhance anxiety... not help reduce it.  Unless I missed your point entirely?  It seems you are confirmed symptoms that we are mentioning.  Or were you saying that he had a lifestyle that was heavily negative and caused it, so our anxiety is likely unfounded?  Just trying to clarify.  Thanks.

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1 hour ago, sTeaLth said:

Sorry, but your reply seems to enhance anxiety... not help reduce it.  Unless I missed your point entirely?  It seems you are confirmed symptoms that we are mentioning.  Or were you saying that he had a lifestyle that was heavily negative and caused it, so our anxiety is likely unfounded?  Just trying to clarify.  Thanks.

 

1 hour ago, bin_tenn said:

My dad passed away in 2014 after having esophageal cancer for a year and a half or so. It was caught very early, but surgery and chemo were not options. Location as well as general physical condition didn't allow it. He did radiation for 6wks early on. He was a long time smoker (pipe and cigarettes), had a history of heavy / hard drinking, pill and other drug addictions. He quit all of that no later than 1992, but it caught up with him. He also had uncontrolled / undercontrolled GERD for many years. All of that combined is a recipe for disaster.

He didn't have any damning symptoms until the later stages of the esophageal cancer. He did have the lump in the throat sensation, among other things, caused by GERD. But those same symptoms in the context of the cancer were very different. Much more severe and persistent. He had also lost a lot of weight in the first 6mos alone, and he never did chemo.

@bin_tenn sorry about your dad, i lost mine to throat cancer (spred into his lungs). I understand @sTeaLth when he says your post is "scary", but i guess your main point was that he was an heavy smoker and drinker and that those seems to be general caractheristics of almost all esophageal cancer victims. 

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Ya. That post triggered a small episode for me. Nothing major, but enough to lose my appetite for a few hours. 😕 I hate anxiety. 

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I SUFFER FROM acid reflux for 7 years now.... I have had 2 endoscopies already and all it shoes it's mild gastritis, and mild esophagatis.... I was on PPIs for years but now I just do 300 mg of zantac before to bed and that helps a lot. I had all of your symtoms and trust me I thought I was dying of stomach cancer or throat or esophags cancer.... everything was clear like I said. I recommend limiting coffee, acidic drinks, like orange juice, lemonade, pasta sauce (tomatoes).... also eat your last meal at night 3 hours before laying down. At your age you have no risks.... go see the doctor though to give you the right doses. I assumed you nought omeprazole over the counter? once a week is not going to cut it. Your doctor will able to prescribe it for you. Good luck and keep us posted.... you will be fine!!!

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18 minutes ago, Leah1976 said:

I SUFFER FROM acid reflux for 7 years now.... I have had 2 endoscopies already and all it shoes it's mild gastritis, and mild esophagatis.... I was on PPIs for years but now I just do 300 mg of zantac before to bed and that helps a lot. I had all of your symtoms and trust me I thought I was dying of stomach cancer or throat or esophags cancer.... everything was clear like I said. I recommend limiting coffee, acidic drinks, like orange juice, lemonade, pasta sauce (tomatoes).... also eat your last meal at night 3 hours before laying down. At your age you have no risks.... go see the doctor though to give you the right doses. I assumed you nought omeprazole over the counter? once a week is not going to cut it. Your doctor will able to prescribe it for you. Good luck and keep us posted.... you will be fine!!!

thank you so much!!!

I am taking omeprazole because i'm a long way from home and i took it with me with my medicines...but as i said, i am a mild IBS sufferer and the damn Omeprazole is making my intestine feel horrible, lot of gas, especially in the afternoon. I could talk to a gastro just to ask him about the side effects and he said i just have to try another PPI to see if it will have the same side effects, so tomorrow i will try with Pantoprazole.

In 23 days i will be back home and i will ask my gastro if we can meet

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2 hours ago, garypayton said:

 

@bin_tenn sorry about your dad, i lost mine to throat cancer (spred into his lungs). I understand @sTeaLth when he says your post is "scary", but i guess your main point was that he was an heavy smoker and drinker and that those seems to be general caractheristics of almost all esophageal cancer victims. 

I was pointing out the fact that he had numerous factors for cancer and that the severe symptoms weren't present until later stages. In the later stages, and lacking prior diagnosis, you wouldn't be questioning it. Losing a tremendous amount of weight in 6mos without any reason / conscious effort, suddenly unable to properly eat because of the cancerous mass, etc. Had he not been diagnosed ~1yr before the awful symptoms began, he probably would've diagnosed himself; that sh*t is no joke.

Anxiety makes it difficult to deal with uncertainty, but the truth is nothing in life is certain. I could have a terminal illness right now and not know it. Chances are much greater that I don't, but it's possible. I've learned to accept that uncertainty, and I think that's extremely important to get over these irrational fears.

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So true. Learning to live with the uncertainty is key. Mine is different from the OP. I have a feeling like I have something in my throat a lot of the time. Like a pill is stuck or something. Sadly, this specific thing can be caused by anxiety all on its own. Frustrating. 😞

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I had issues with feeling like something was stuck on the side tongue and throat than I had trouble swallowing. I had every test imaginable. Nothing. Let's talk about the anxiety of swallowing. So I bet right now you are swallowing way more than you normally do trying to see if you still feel it are not. That in it self will make it feel wierd. And swallowing is a normal every day thing we do even with out thinking about it. For me thinking about made me swallow different. Just keep up your reflux and you will be fine

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Yep, the globus sensation is definitely very common with anxiety. Any time something triggers sudden anxious or nervousness, I feel a "lump suddenly grow in my throat." It is also a common symptom of reflux / GERD. I took a PPI for a couple of years, recently stopped per my doctor's recommendation. So far, so good - I no longer have reflux regularly, only once in a while. I take Tums as needed, but otherwise try to watch what I eat. And I don't have that lump in throat feeling nearly as often.

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1 hour ago, bin_tenn said:

Yep, the globus sensation is definitely very common with anxiety. Any time something triggers sudden anxious or nervousness, I feel a "lump suddenly grow in my throat." It is also a common symptom of reflux / GERD. I took a PPI for a couple of years, recently stopped per my doctor's recommendation. So far, so good - I no longer have reflux regularly, only once in a while. I take Tums as needed, but otherwise try to watch what I eat. And I don't have that lump in throat feeling nearly as often.

Yep, the globus sensation is exactly it.  It feels like I'll choke if I eat... but then gets MUCH better after eating or drinking hot liquids.  Also, I have noticed that if I don;t think about it for a few days... it almost leaves entirely.  Then when a stressful moment with my kids happens... suddenly it is back.  Doesn't sound like cancer to me.  Ha.  I really don't have much HA from it, but it tries to creep in now and again.  I really hate the feeling.  Thanks for this discussion though.  I'll start focusing on acid reflux rectification and ignoring the sensation again.

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After 8-9 days of omeprazole i can say one thing. I don't know how some people can live a full life taking PPIs :

_ my stomach is DEAD. I mean, sure i feel better with the reflux, it's obvious because my stomach is not working. I eat a slice of bread and i feel like i ate an elephant.

_ my colon was working like a charm, now : gas, poo in pieces, difficulty to evacuate.

I really guess it will be my last day of this s..t, if anybody can suggest me an alternative, i would appreciate it.

I'm fixing my diet (here i was eating a lot of plantain, like 2 a day, and i think, since it is a really acid fruit full of c vitamin, it could have been the trigger to my reflux), fixed my bed, etc

 

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17 hours ago, garypayton said:

thank you so much!!!

I am taking omeprazole because i'm a long way from home and i took it with me with my medicines...but as i said, i am a mild IBS sufferer and the damn Omeprazole is making my intestine feel horrible, lot of gas, especially in the afternoon. I could talk to a gastro just to ask him about the side effects and he said i just have to try another PPI to see if it will have the same side effects, so tomorrow i will try with Pantoprazole.

In 23 days i will be back home and i will ask my gastro if we can meet

Yes PPis will give you gas and maybe mild cramping... I have IBS as well. zantac 300 mg is the best I have tried so far as far as side effects goes and effectivity.... I also had LPR, where the acid goes to throat, ears etc. That's why I take it at night. Good luck, this will pass and you will feel better soon.... PPIs take several days to start working!

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4 minutes ago, Leah1976 said:

Yes PPis will give you gas and maybe mild cramping... I have IBS as well. zantac 300 mg is the best I have tried so far as far as side effects goes and effectivity.... I also had LPR, where the acid goes to throat, ears etc. That's why I take it at night. Good luck, this will pass and you will feel better soon.... PPIs take several days to start working!

Yes i heard about zantac, but you may heard they are retiring it because of some "possible" cancerous substance they found, so now is not available. And also, i'm far away from home and some things are hard to find.

I was thinking i may just split the 20 mg and take 10. 

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