This year, doctors will diagnose an estimated 16,940 adults (13,360 men and 3,580 women) in the United States with esophageal cancer. The disease accounts for 1% of cancers diagnosed in the United States. Also, now imagine the surprise of these thousands of adults to learn that their cancer could have been avoided if they never took acid reflux medication like Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid.
About Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are medicines that work by reducing the amount of stomach acid made by glands in the lining of the stomach. Many use PPIs to prevent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), to heal inflammation of the esophagus and to prevent complications until the esophagus is healed. However, the warning label says that PPIs should only be used short term. In fact, long-term use can produce a variety of dangerous side effects.
PPIs Causing Esophageal Cancer
On February 22, 2018, Cancer Epidemiology published a study led by Dr. Nele Brusselaers and his team at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm. The study used data from four national registers in Sweden to identify almost 800,000 patients taking PPIs. They found that those using PPIs had a near double rate of developing esophageal cancer than those who did not. Unlike the other cancers mentioned, researchers found that even using PPIs for a short amount of time still caused esophageal cancer.
About Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is a disease in which cancer cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube that moves food and liquids from the throat to the stomach. The most common types of esophageal cancer are squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in flat cells lining the esophagus. Adenocarcinoma begins in cells that make and release mucus and other fluids.
Statistics estimate that 15,690 deaths (12,720 men and 2,970 women) from this disease will occur this year. Esophageal cancer is the seventh most common cause of cancer death among men. The 5-year survival rate for people with esophageal cancer is 18%. However, survival rates depend on several factors. These include the stage of cancer when doctors first diagnose.
Therefore, since this cancer has such a low survival rate adding more risk factors to the mix like PPI use could raise death rates unnecessarily.
Doctors notoriously over prescribe proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). When pharmaceutical drugs have affected you, you need an attorney with proven experience taking on companies that receive billions of dollars selling these drugs. If you or a loved one has suffered esophageal cancer from using a PPI, contact us immediately. Call (877) 513-9517 to speak with an attorney in The Michael Brady Lynch Firm about your situation. Our consultations are completely free.