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Heartburn Remedies For Cancer Patients

Westminster Campaign’s Report On Oesophageal Cancer And Barrett’s Oesophagus

Heartburn, Reflux and GERD: Preventing the Progression to Esophageal Cancer

The Campaign’s report was based on Freedom of Information requests made to health trusts across England, and was compiled after an unrestricted educational grant was made by Covidien, now part ofMedtronic. It was published in January 2016.

The report pointed out the rise of 6,000 in diagnoses of Barrett’s Oesophagus made in 2013-4 to 36,000. There were wide discrepancies over how detailed data wererecorded, and wide variations found in how radio frequency ablation and other treatments were made available to patients, with London apparently accounting for a disproportionate number ofendoscopic therapies. Improving that geographical variation is a key recommendation of the report, together with improving professional awareness of treatment options, the development of a bestpractice pathway, imporvement of NICE guidelines, emphasising the importance of diagnosing and treating Barrett’s oesophagus, and better monitoring and recording of data.

What Are You Going To Do To Cure Your Heartburn

Are you simply going to treat the heartburn with short-term remedies or are you going to attack the real underlying problem that is driving your symptoms? I suspect that the larger long-term recommendations are a bit intimidating and you are not sure if you can make that type of commitment. You are not alone.

Here is an approach that may help you ease into building your path to relief and good health:

  • Take a longer-term view of your problem. Attack the symptoms with short-term solutions while designing a longer-term approach.
  • Read up on each of the longer term recommendations of a healthy BMI, GERD-friendly diet, and lifestyle changes. Become an expert.
  • Select one of those three long-term recommendations to work on first. You cant make all those changes at the same time. We suggest you first make the lifestyle changes, then work on your BMI, and finally change our diet.
  • Set a reasonable timeframe to make this program work for you.
  • Work with a GERD expert, they will be a valuable partner as you design your plan.
  • We know you can do this because so many others before you have succeeded. Dont delay, this is your disease and its your quality of life that is at risk. You can do this!

    This article is from Reflux MD

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    Am I At Risk For Esophageal Cancer

    There are two main types of esophageal cancer: squamous cell cancer and adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. Squamous cell cancer occurs most commonly in African Americans as well as people who smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol excessively. This type of cancer is not increasing in frequency.

    The other cancer, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, occurs most commonly in Caucasians as well as people with gastroesophageal reflux disease . This cancer is increasing in frequency.

    The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, a condition that 20 percent of American adults experience at least twice a week. Although these individuals are at increased risk of developing esophageal cancer, the vast majority of them will never develop it. But in a few patients with GERD , a change in the esophageal lining develops, a condition called Barretts esophagus. Doctors believe most cases of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus begin in Barretts tissue.

    Recommended Reading: Best Natural Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn

    No Routine Screening Guidelines

    Unfortunately, there are no standard screening guidelines for cancer of the esophagus. If it could be diagnosed at an early stage through endoscopy, we could take action before it gets worse. But, because we don’t screen for it on a routine basis, we tend not to diagnose patients at an early stage.

    I hope that increased awareness will encourage patients to think, Okay, Ive got persistent symptoms. Something could be wrong. I should go see a doctor.

    Terrible Heartburn After 1st Chemo What Will Help

    Hi Everyone.

    I had my first chemo session on Tuesday and am suffering terribly on and off with heartburn. It makes me want to double over in pain when it hits.

    I am already taking Lansoprazole and my GP has since prescribed Peptac liquid, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.

    Does anyone have any tips that might help ease it?I’ve tried all the obvious ones already eg…staying upright, avoiding spicy food, drinking lots of water, chewing gum after meals and ginger biscuits.

    Any advice/tips greatly appreciated

    Hi Sez81,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re having these difficulties. Unfortunately I’m not able to advise – the best thing is to try to discuss this with your specialist when you can, to see what they can suggest.

    If you’d like to talk anything through with our nurses, you can reach them on 0808 800 4040 – Monday-Friday, 9-5.

    Wishing you all the best and I hope it eases soon,

    I used to get strong heartburn as well after chemo, I always found that a glass of milk and a banana first thing in the morning helped me , but you have to read the advice with any tablets you have as you cannot have milk within 2 hours of taking some medication .

    I also found that sipping ginger tea helped and drinking copious amounts of water throughout the day .

    I hope this helps .

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    Eat Smaller Meals And Avoid Eating Before Bedtime

    Consuming smaller meals may help fend off symptoms of GERD. Large meals can contribute to increased gastric distension and may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, leading to heartburn. Furthermore, its best to avoid reclining or going to bed shortly after a meal. Additionally, elevating the head of the bed during sleep may help. Research indicates that consuming a meal less than three hours before bedtime may worsen symptoms of GERD.

    Sex And Fertility Issues

    Many people find that they lose interest in sex during chemotherapy. This is usually temporary, and your sex drive should gradually return after your treatment has finished.

    Some chemotherapy medicines can also reduce fertility in men and women. This is often temporary, but it can be permanent in some cases.

    Before starting treatment, ask your care team whether your fertility may be affected. If you’re at risk of infertility, they will discuss your options with you.

    Women may be able to have their eggs frozen to be used later in IVF. Men may be able to have a sample of their sperm frozen so it can be used for artificial insemination at a later date.

    You should avoid becoming pregnant or fathering a child during your treatment, as chemotherapy medicines could harm the baby. Use a barrier method of contraception, such as a condom.

    Also Check: What Does It Mean When You Have Heartburn A Lot

    What You Can Do

    • Eat smaller meals, more frequently. A big meal can increase the pressure against the muscle sphincter between your stomach and esophagus. If you are overweight, losing weight may reduce symptoms.
    • Stay upright for at least a half hour after eating avoid bending over, exercising, or lying down during this time.
    • Elevate your shoulders and head 5-8 inches by putting bricks or books under the legs at the head of your bed.
    • Try napping sitting up in a chair.
    • Keep a journal of what seems to trigger symptoms, and avoid your triggers.
    • Talk to your doctor before stopping or starting any medicines or supplements some can cause or worsen acid reflux. Ask what medication would be recommended for your reflux.

    How Is Heartburn Treated

    Heartburn Home Remedies: Natural ways to put out the fire

    Avoiding things that cause heartburn can help, but if lifestyle changes are not enough to prevent heartburn, your doctor may prescribe medication. Effective over-the-counter and prescription medications are available.

    Over the counter antacids: Antacids work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach. They may contain the following compounds alone or in combination: calcium carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide and magaldrate. Examples are Maalox®, Mylanta®, Rolaids®, or Tums®.

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    How To Cure Heartburn Four Quick Fixes And Long

    How to cure heartburn you ask? Well, theres no easy answer to that question.

    If youve been struggling with acid reflux for any length of time, then you know there isnt a quick fix to this disease as a whole. GERD has many symptoms, one of which is heartburn. At the crux of this disease is the lower oesophageal sphincter . Located at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the LES can weaken and no longer function as an effective barrier, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to back-flow up into the oesophagus. When this happens, heartburn often follows. This weakening of the LES is progressive, so the more often you reflux, the more frequent the episodes become.

    Learn more: GERD explained: The role of the LES

    Medications can help relieve acid reflux symptoms by making the contents of the stomach less acidic however, they dont stop reflux from happening. Thats why managing GERD requires commitment and diligence: Watching what and how you eat and making lifestyle choices aimed at minimizing reflux can reduce your symptoms AND help stop the progression of the condition.

    But sometimes, despite your best efforts to manage your GERD, heartburn strikes and you need relief . So though we cant provide a definite answer to how to cure heartburn? We can offer four quick fixes to help you cool the burn.

    Mix Baking Soda With Water

    You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.

    To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.

    help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.

    Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.

    Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.

    Recommended Reading: What Is The Safest Heartburn Medication

    Prevention Is The Best Medicine To Care For Your Esophagus

    I highly encourage people, if you’ve had symptoms of GERD for more than 5 years, to get an endoscopy to make sure you don’t have any long-term effects of acid reflux, Barretts esophagus, dysplasia, or early-stage nodules that might be malignant. You don’t want to wait until you have food getting stuck in your throat or you’ve got a large massthe earlier you see your doctor about your heartburn or other symptoms, the better the outcome may be.

    Here at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, our specialists will make sure that your symptoms get addressed and you get started on the right treatment in time.

    Early Day Motion No 623

    As at 7 January 2015, Early Day Motion no 623 has attracted 42 signatures from MPs:

    That this House notes that the UK has the highest incidence of oesophageal adenocarcinoma in the world and that incidence is rising further notes that there are over 8,000 people diagnosed withoesophageal cancer every year in the UK acknowledges that the survival rate for oesophageal cancer is one of the worst of any cancer, with only 15 per cent survival after five years further notesthat diagnosis for the condition Barrett’s oesophagus which can lead to oesophageal cancer is low and that public awareness of the significance of persistent heartburn as a risk factor is very low welcomes the work of the Oesophageal Cancer Westminster Campaign, a campaign group of patient groups, clinical experts, industry and bereaved families further welcomes the national Be Clear onCancer campaign on oesophageal cancer and calls for the Government and the Department of Health to regard the diagnosis and treatment of Barrett’s oesophagus and oesophageal cancer as a nationalpriority to save lives.

    You can see whether your own MP has signed this here:

    Read Also: How To Relieve Heartburn Gas

    Take An Acid Neutralizer

    When heartburn hits and you need relief, try an antacid like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox. These medications act quickly to neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can reduce your symptoms. Dont have any on hand? Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water and drink to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Just use caution with this home remedy since its high in sodium and shouldnt be used by people on a sodium-restricted diet.

    Learn more: Treating GERD with medications: What you need to know

    We also like H-2 blockers, also known as Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. These include such brand names a Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Tagamet, and Zantac. These medications dont work as quickly as acid neutralizers, but they are still very fast. H2 blockers should be taken about 30 minutes before you eat or when you typically experience symptoms.

    The benefit of H2 blockers is that they work longer than antacids, but they dont have the same medical risks associated with proton pump inhibitors. As is true with all medications we highly recommend that you discuss use with your doctor before you begin any drug treatment, prescription or over-the-counter.

    And remember that while these quick fixes may help relieve your GERD symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Your goal should be to stop reflux from happening in the first place, which is why we recommend several long-term solutions to cure heartburn.

    Stages Of Esophageal Cancer

    Cancer of the esophagus is quite complex, and so are the various ways we can classify it. Each patient and situation is different, so its best to talk with your doctor if you or a loved one is diagnosed with the disease. In general, though, we can classify this cancer into these stages:

    • Stage 1a lesion in the lining of the esophageal wallTreatment: Removal of the lesion through minimally invasive surgery.
    • Stages 2 or 3a deeper tumor and/or involvement of lymph nodesTreatment: Chemotherapy and radiation, followed by an esophagectomy, surgery to remove 70% to 80% of the esophagus, leaving a little piece to connect to the stomach. We perform the surgery only if the tumor has responded well to the chemotherapy and radiation. If the tumor has progressed, as far as the size or number of involved lymph nodes, or it has spread to other parts of the body, the patient will no longer be a candidate for surgery.
    • Stage 4the tumor has spreadTreatment: Anti-cancer drugs that reach all parts of the body and/or palliative care to improve the patients quality of life.

    Recommended Reading: How To Know If It’s Heartburn

    Who Should Be Screened For Barretts Esophagus

    Barretts esophagus is twice as common in men as women. It tends to occur in middle-aged Caucasian men who have had heartburn for many years. Theres no agreement among experts on who should be screened. Even in patients with heartburn, Barretts esophagus is uncommon and esophageal cancer is very rare. One recommendation is to screen patients older than 50 who have had significant heartburn or required regular use of medications to control heartburn for several years. If that first screening is negative for Barretts tissue, there is no need to repeat it.

    Gerd Is The Word Treating Esophageal Cancer

    GERD & Your Risk of Esophageal Cancer

    If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.

    If the fiery feeling of heartburn affects you more than twice a week, you may be at risk for more serious health issues. Frequent or long-standing heartburn is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , which can lead to esophageal cancer.

    Read Also: Home Made Remedy For Heartburn

    How Does My Doctor Test For Barretts Esophagus

    Your doctor will first perform an upper endoscopy to diagnose Barretts esophagus. Barretts tissue has a different appearance than the normal lining of the esophagus and is visible during endoscopy. Although this examination is very accurate, your doctor will take biopsies from the esophagus to confirm the diagnosis as well as look for the precancerous change of dysplasia that cannot be seen with the endoscopic appearance alone. Taking biopsies from the esophagus through an endoscope only slightly lengthens the procedure time, causes no discomfort and rarely causes complications. Your doctor can usually tell you the results of your endoscopy after the procedure, but you will have to wait a few days for the biopsy results.

    How To Talk To Your Doctor

    Lots of people skip this part. Donât. Your doctor can help you avoid pills or practices that may not be good for you. Follow these tips to start the conversation:

    • Ask about nondrug ways to ease side effects.
    • If they say that something you want to try can cause problems with your cancer treatment, ask for other options.
    • Make a complete list of all supplements you take — even multivitamins. Ask the doctor if any of them could have a bad effect on your treatment.
    • Ask them to help you spot products or practices that donât live up to their claims.

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    Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean When You Have Constant Heartburn

    Eat A Banana Or An Apple

    Bananas contain natural antacids that can act as a buffer against acid reflux. If you want to try out the simplest home remedies for heartburn first, try letting a few bananas ripen up nicely and eating one every day. Another option is to try an apple a day. Slice one up and eat it a couple of hours before bedtime to relieve or prevent discomfort.

    How Is Esophageal Cancer Diagnosed

    If you have symptoms that could be caused by esophageal cancer, your doctor will do a physical exam and ask you about your medical history. If they still suspect esophageal cancer, you will likely undergo some tests.

    This is likely to include an endoscopy, a test in which your doctor inserts a long, snake-like tube with a camera attachment down your throat to examine the esophageal tissue. Your doctor may take a biopsy of the tissue to send to a laboratory.

    A barium swallow is another test your doctor might use to determine whether you have esophageal cancer. For a barium swallow, you will be asked to drink a chalky liquid that will line your esophagus. Your doctor will then take an X-ray of your esophagus.

    If your doctor does find cancerous tissue, they may also want to do a computed tomography scan in order to see if the cancer has spread anywhere else in the body.

    Read Also: What To Do For Heartburn While Pregnant