Could this be cancer?

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I am a 19 year old male with a sore throat and a hoarse voice for months now. I have developed difficulty swallowing and breathing, food often feels to be stuck in my throat. I have a history of acid reflux that has been getting worse for the past few weeks, my physician said that it is very unlikely for me to have a tumor due to my age and gave me acid reflux medicine without further testing and told me to see him again in a month and did not refer me ti an EMT and said he'd do that in a month if symptoms persisted. Could he be wrong and could it be too late in a month? Should I seek help right now or would waiting the month would be okay? How fast does this cancer grow, how much damage could it do in a month?

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  • Posted

    Trying the acid reflux medicine for a month is probably standard protocol. That, and making any lifestyle changes that you need to make in regards to smoking, drinking, eating fatty, greasy, foods (especially just before bed), etc. could solve your problem. However, it does sound like you need to see a specialist just to be sure that there isn't a permanent issue going on in your esophagus. You should probably be referred to a gastroenterologist rather than an EMT (or ENT). You might also have them check for a hiatal hernia. I apparently was born with one and that caused my severe reflux to develop at a young age.

    Try not to worry about "worst case scenarios" right now and focus on researching the best gastroenterologists in your area. I hope you get some answers and relief soon.

  • Posted

    Oesophageal adenocarcinoma is the main cancer risk from reflux but it normally a slow growing thing in that it is associated with Barrett's Oesophagus.   Around 10% of people with reflux develop Barrett's.   Somebody with newly-developed Barrett's aged 30 years may have a 12-25% risk of adenocarcinoma by the time they are 80 years of age.   So the normal thing is for Omeprazole or an equivalent medication to reduce acid to be given for a period of 6 - 8 weeks or so and then reviewed.   So what your doctor has done seems very sensible.   If it has not resolved after that period, the medication might be adjusted, and/or a referral made for an endoscopy.


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