Focal intestinal metaplasia in the stomach

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I recently had an endoscopy done and was told I have reflux, mild to moderate chronic gastritis and focal intestinal metaplasia in the stomach. I researched intestinal metaplasia and was devastated in reading the relation to cancer. I'm only 35 with a young family. The doctors told me my risk is very low but they didn't go into specifics or stats other than that studies show risk in the single digits over years. Does anyone have any insight in regards to risks? Please I need help.

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  • Posted

    Dear David,

    First, breathe deeply. Then make an appointment with Gastroenterolgy at a well known university because academia is up to date with the latest research, because when you see one physician at the university you will be followed by the entire department, because any consultations can be accomplished at the same university, and because you will have the choice of seeing them on a regular basis OR seeing them less frequently and seeing your primary care physician on a regular basis.

    David, I do not know if your diagnosis is correct or not BUT before I would be concerned I would ask the university docs to do their own biopsies. I was diagnosed with a disease twenty years ago, took medication as well. Last month I learned by a highly esteemed institution that I have been living with a misdiagnosis!

    Also, if you have to travel, ask the university if they have lodging agreements in the nearby community.. you will save a few dollars.

    kind regards,

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    • Posted

      Hi. Yes it was done at Rush university in downtown Chicago. She's a young gastro but seems as if they used the latest technology. She showed my pathology and endoscopy report to her colleague who has more experience with intestinal metaplasia. She assured me and agreed that my risk is very low. I have scheduled a second opinion at the university of Chicago hospital with another gastro. But they might want to rescope me there. I'm not sure if I want to be rescoped again. The dr at Rush offered to rescope using a mapping system where they take 10 biopsies from the stomach and determine the type of intestinal metaplasia and to check if there is more IM. She told me that they can't do anything because it's not cancer and all they can do is monitor it. She said that studies from around the world show risks to be in the single digits over 10 years. Not sure what to do or believe. Thanks for responding.

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    • Posted

      just responded but wanted to add...if you have focal interstitial metaplasia, that is a PRECANCEROUS state. The reason to do biopsies (you may feel discomfort that day) is to screen for H-pylori which if present will be addressed with antibiotics ..
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    • Posted

      Hi David...looks like my first part did not register...as a native Brighton Park Chicagoan, you have made the very best decisions for care...if Charles Winans is still working the corriders, ask for him (he may have retired as Chief, Gastroenterologist. If you see him, tell him Judith sends two messages: "greetings" and "she has never swallowed another NSAID, lol"

      David, if I offered to sell you a $100 raffle ticket that came with a 1%, oh heck, a 9% chance to win a million dollars...

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    • Posted

      Yes it's a precancerous condition. Idk if I should go ahead with the gastric mapping. Drs at rush told me that my risk is very low. According to statistics which are fairly new 5 years old. My chances are in the single digits over years (5-10) with an annual incidence rate of .25% but they don't know if and when. If I get the gastric mapping done they can tell if there is more IM and type of IM. Type 1 runs a very low risk. Type 2 and 3 run a higher risk. Although type 3 is found in 21% of patients with IM. The only thing they can do is monitor me yearly if it's found that I have more IM than they thought or if they find type 3. If not than they monitor me every 2 years. I'll ask for your dr.

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    • Posted

      Dr also said that if were Caucasian they wouldn't even monitor me. But since I'm Hispanic the protocol is every two years. I asked I should marry and she responded that many things can happen to us and not to obsess over something that may never happen. Most people don't go on to get it. I'm over 90% in the clear but I'm praying and changing my lifestyle and diet. I'm still very scared.

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    • Posted

      I hear your fear. I will join you in prayer.

      David, have the second appointment. Learn what U of C has to say. They may confirm, they may not.

      I will be here waiting to learn of the visit.

      Chuckle, chuckle...hispanic? me too!

      For now, find ways to not focus on this...way easier to say...had thyroid cancer in 2001 and must contend with watching antibodies and taking daily meds, and the constant blood tests.. drove me crazy for several years before my brain was able to let go.

      Breath deeply...the good Lord has never taken anyone too early.

      You are in the best care, wise choices you have made.

      Patience, do not try to make medical decisions until your physician asks you to.

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  • Posted

    Hey I was diagnosed with the same thing. How are you doing so far now. Did you get a second opinion? 
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  • Posted

    Take comfort that you are being monitored. Most cancers nowadays are curable if they are caught early and monitoring will ensure that. All the best...
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  • Posted

    Hi

    i was recently diagnosed with moderate chronic gastritis with intestinal metaplasia. My GP and Consultant are unconcerned regarding the risk of developing gastric cancer. I asked questions and am reassured that the professionals have everything under control. The risk of developing cancer with IM is very small. I will have annual endoscopies to check everything is okay 😊😊😊

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  • Posted

    I would have as clean a diet as possible going forward. Try not to irritate your stomach. Cut out all animal products and fried foods. Make a green smoothie every day. Drink turmeric tea every day. I highly recommend reading a book by USC professor Valter Longo called "The Longevity Diet". He analyzed the world's longest lived communities and came up with this diet. He says eating fish once or twice a week is ok, but otherwise no animal products. Also, do relaxation exercises. Yoga, meditation, etc. Stress makes gastritis and Gerd worse. Perhaps it is the cause of these maladies. For me, stress during medical school caused GERD. I'm positive about that.

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