I'm Scared of Oesophageal Cancer? Please help!

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I'm 30 years old, female, not overweight, I have Hypothyroidism, but it is within normal range, I don't drink or smoke, but I suffer with severe health anxiety and panic disorder. I've suffered with a tight full chest and throat feeling for the last 4 or 5 months. The last month, I've having to belch to feel relief, usually after eating, and many have said acid reflux and indigestion. I've been doctor several times over last few weeks, and I had my chest examined with a stethoscope several times, I had my regular blood tests for my Hypothyroid and a 24 hour blood pressure monitor. My doctor said it was my anxiety.

But I put in my symptoms and the first link that popped up was this:

http://www.lollipopday.ie/oesophageal-cancer-symptoms.php?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn9TUvpPT1wIVqrztCh0ABAMxEAAYASAAEgIAvfD_BwE

And some of my symptoms were on there, and I've been crying the past hour because I'm terrified and absolutely frightened I have this cancer now. I'm panicking hysterically and I can't think straight. I don't have a problem swallowing, I do get tired sometimes, but I'm at home all day everyday and don't get much exercise but now I'm thinking it is another symptom. I got the hiccups the other night, but not had hiccups in a long time, but now I'm thinking it was linked to this cancer as well. I'm really really scared.

Then, when I lean back, the feeling in my chest is more prominent, and only when I lean forward and belch does it ease it. Now I'm thinking the back pain is another symptom of the cancer. Please, I'm so scared, I don't know what to do.

 

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  • Posted

    I am sorry that you are feeling bad.   There is not anything that you have stated that would make me think that you have oesophageal cancer but I realise that you are not likely to be reassured by this.

    ​In the UK, 70% of oesophageal cancer cases are adenocarcinoma that affects men over 50 years by a ratio of 4:1 so statistically it makes it much less likely.   And tension and anxiety can affect your digestion and reflux and thereby cause some of the symptoms that are shared with some oesophageal cancer cases.

    The fact that you feel relief when you belch is a good thing.

    ​I know that that this is easier said than done, but if you could find some way of reducing your anxiety by means of relaxation or some other technique, you might then be able to reach a stage when these symptoms either reduce by themselves, or present a clearer picture for the doctors?

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying, that is a really informed reply too. I know, I'm going over to my doctor next week, I need to give myself a break over the weekend. I'll discuss with my doctor everything that I feel and all my symptoms as well, I've just had a very stressful and anxious felt year, which has brought back my depression as well. I immediately went into panic mode last night after I put in about indigestion/ acid reflux I'd had for a few weeks, and the first links were to Oesophageal cancer, so my immediate reaction was anxiety and crying in fear. I've had the chest fullness and tightness up to my throat for 4/5 months, but the belching to relieve the fullness or uncomfortable feeling of being full, has only been for a 4/6 weeks, and when I seen that in the symptoms on the websites, I suddenly started to fret hysterically. Thank you again, and I will go to my doctor next week to discuss this and my anxiety as well.

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  • Posted

    Hi brigidcooley,

    How are you feeling now?

    You 'Googling' sounds exactly the same as me - and it is such a hard habit to break isn't it! 

    I have also had acid reflux for the last 10 days or so and now I have started eating little and often and taking gaviscon I have noticed things are better than they were and I am finding relief.

    For the last 6 months or so I have been obsessed with Breast Cancer and made myself so sore checking and poking - I think this has lead to me being super tense and anxious. I have also been really busy with my job and have had the joy's of travelling into London (which I find stressful anyway!)

    My Mum died from Ovarian Cancer and it was sudden and unexpected - she was healthy and looked after herself. This is why I think I now obsess over every little thing...... even had a smear test earlier this year and worried for weeks waiting for the results - they we fine! What a waste of energy worrying I thought!

    I went for CBT - I found it helped me to understand why I am such a worry wort - I went through a stressful and difficult time with Mum and I was heartbroken (still am - only 3 years ago)..... I feel that I need to go back though and see if they can help me through this time - it drives me MAD that I think like this!

    I wish I was just chilled and grateful for all the good things in life!

    I wish you well and hope you are feeling better!

    Lulu 

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry you're going through this! I've been going through much of the same thing for the past 4 weeks. I'm absolutely terrified of an endoscopy and have a barium swallow scheduled for Friday. Does anyone know if a barium swallow alone can help diagnose esophageal cancer?

    I hope you got some answers!

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