Really scared omezaprole might be masking cancer

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I'm new to this group, and just wondered if anyone might have had similar/relevant experiences to my own. I started getting indigestion symptoms a week ago, and didn't think anything of it at first, but after 3 days with no sign of it going away, I started to worry, whether it's a symptom of cancer (stomach or oesophagal). I went to my gp to voice these worries, but was told that "because I'm not 55" (I'm 52) he wasn't able to send me straightaway for a gastroscopy. Instead, I was prescribed omezaprole (20mg) for 28 days. The dr told me that he would refer me "if the indigestion returns after I've finished the medication". I'd never heard of omezaprole and am not sure why I've been prescribed it at this stage, so I looked it up on the internet. I'm now really worried that it could mask the symptoms of a serious illness like cancer and lose me precious time for getting my condition further investigated.

The indigestion symptoms I felt at the start are best described as "constant low level discomfort with occasional burping". I have rarely suffered from indigestion in the past and it has certainly never gone on for days.

Right now, I'm feeling nauseous and not sure whether it's a side effect of the medicine or down to the stress and anxiety I'm feeling. I'm sick with worry and planning to return to the gp on Monday and insist that I'm referred for a gastroscopy straightaway.

I'd be really grateful to hear from anyone with similar experience to my own

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  • Posted

    Omeprazole is what's called a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor), basically it turns off the little acid producing pump cells in your Stomach, here's the leaflet on the matter :

    patient.info/health/proton-pump-inhibitors

    Your Doctor has prescribed this medicine for Gastritis (as it certainly sounds like you are suffering from Gastritis), this is possibly just a spontaneous eruption or it is caused by an overgrowth of a bacterium called H.pylori :

    patient.info/health/helicobacter-pylori-and-stomach-pain

    I don't think you have anything to worry about, certainly nothing more sinister than a stomach bug smile

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Jane, firstly don't stress yourself out (I did and it just made thing worse!) I was put on omeprazole for a similar problem about 6 years ago and still take it while being advised to by the doctor. Have you had a weight gain recently as this apparently can cause these symptoms, if not try not to panic I am sure if your doctor thought it was serious he would have referred you straight away. Good luck

    Gary

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  • Posted

    Give it time to work. You don't want to rush into an invasive procedure. I try not to scare people with this story but my uncle who had angina went into cardiac arrest during his and died. I later told my GP about it and he said that one of the partners at his last practice suffered the same fate. It is said to be a 1 in 2000 chance.

    I've been taking omezaprole or other PPI's since 2001 and they mostly help.

    Look up functional Indigestion and you will see your symptoms and more. I've had it for most of my life as well as two duodenal ulcers.

    In the first three days did you take anything for it? I find that Bisodal tablets are the most effective of the over the counter remidies. You can back up the

    omezaprole with gaviscon liquid at night.

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  • Posted

    Thanks for yr replies, I also suffer from health anxiety which doesn't help! I still have the indigestion and burping, although not as uncomfortable (I presume due to the medicine). I haven't had a weight gain, have been the same for years, and have never suffered digestive/stomach problems before. The leaflets are useful and it helps to hear from others who've been through the same. Will continue to monitor and decide what to do on Monday!
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  • Posted

    Jane: When you go back to your GP ask if a Barium Swallow X-Ray would be good enough for a diagnosis as opposed to an endoscopy. It shows a lot but does not give the option for taking samples and Helicobactor Pyroli can be diagnosed by other means.

     

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  • Posted

    Try not to worry about it (but do talk to your GP if need be), as you yourself say your weight is constant, if it were serious you'd be well sickened, losing Kgs a week etc etc smile
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  • Posted

    Thanks derek76 for yr advice. I will try to give the medicine a chance to work, keep calm and not to constantly assume the worst (goes against the grain with me though!). And yes benny blanco, there don't seem to be any other symptoms at the moment. Will continue to monitor and see GP as soon as I feel I need to.
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    • Posted

      I once phoned a  consultans secretary when I was waiting for an initial appointment long in the future. I told her I was in pain and felt that I should be seen sooner.

      She got me an appointment for the next week.

      The registrar welcomed me with. "So you think you have cancer"

      I said that I did not think that and did know what it was but that I did not think that it should go uninvestigated for months. 

      Of course the investigations did not find anything really serious apart from worsening diverticulitis and again I was told that my other symptoms were caused by hiatal hernia and functional indigestion.

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  • Posted

    Jane, I had very similar worries to you. I have constant low level pain on the left hand side. However, I have had 2 gastroscopies now, one on ppis and one off them. Both have come back as my stomach being fine. The last one was done yesterday. The ward was full of people terrified they have cancer. None if them did. I too googled about ppis masking cancer, it's terrifying when you start to convince yourself that you have it. All I can say is my doc told me that pain wasn't one of the symptoms he would look for. Not all that comforting when you're scared, but true nonetheless. Also, stomach cancer is rare. You are far more likely to have a touch of gastritis. If you want to get ahead of the queue for a gastroscopy then maybe a little lying will help. I think problems swallowing warrants a two week referral ( if you live in the UK). It might be worth saying that if you want a quick referral. 

    Just to put things in perspective though, I have terrible trouble swallowing, food gets stuck, I have had this problem for 6 months now, and yesterday's gastroscopy showed that my oesophagus was normal. Not everything is cancer, in fact it rarely is. Doesn't stop the worry though, especially when you consult Dr Google. 

    Good  luck with your GP. Hopefully you will get a quick referral. If you do go down the two week route, then you need to stop your ppis two weeks before the gastroscopy as  they can alter the results of the H Pylori test. If you are still worrying, please be in touch, I completely understand where you are coming from

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks for your kind words and for sharing your experience Stella, it's good that your gastroscopys were clear. I'm feeling a little more relaxed now, concentrate on modifying my diet to avoid acidy/spicy/fatty/processed stuff. Will continue taking omezaprole and monitor symptoms before another visit to the GP and will try to give Google a wide berth for the time being!!

    Good luck with your ongoing treatment.

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  • Posted

    Stela:

    Did you not get any reason for your swallowing problem?

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    • Posted

      Hi Derek, no. It's absolutely killing me even to swallow water today, plus my stomach feels like it there's a knitting needle stuck in it on the left hand side. This is when I get paranoid despite the gastroscopy... Have a barium swallow booked for next Friday so I'm really hoping it shows something. I would like to get this treated so I can get back to feeling vaguely normal! 

      Can I just ask whether diverticulitis can affect your upper bowel ( the bit that runs horizontally) I've got a lot of pain there and I'm wondering if it's that. I wish I'd had a full colonoscopy instead of just the sigmoidoscopy. I might ask for one next time I'm in clinic. Funny really cause up til last November I thought I had guts of iron! 

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    • Posted

      At least you can take heart that the gastroscopys were clear, and hopefully the barium swallow will be the same. If there was anything sinister there surely all these tests would show it up? Have you had blood tests also? These could shed further light on your condition. Good luck for next Friday, maybe if this is clear also you may feel a little more relaxed and I'm convinced that stress and worry can make these symptoms seem worse.
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    • Posted

      Oh definitely stress doesn't help. I've had all of the tests, bloods, ultrasound, ct and 2 endoscopies. Makes it more frustrating though as I just want this to go away. Hopefully the barium swallow will show something, or someone will be able to give me an explanation as to why I feel like this. I think it's the uncertainty that is worst, that's when your imagination gets the better of you.
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    • Posted

      Personally I would hope that the barium shows nothing rather than something nasty. I had my fith or sixth one the other week and no reason for my present symptoms. All of thems howed my Hiatal Hernia. Two of the earlier ones found duodenal ulcers. Watching it on the screen I could not see the massive hiatal hernia bulge as on earlier ones. I asked the radiographer and she said that they can vary in size over time. I was dubious but my GP said the same.

      I would not go running to have a colonoscopy. I had one in November and during it my BP went down to 40/27 and my heart rate to 30 bpm.

      They panicked, I told them that I felt OK but to get a move on. They pumped some drugs into me and gave me water to drink. They called for an anaethist who pumped more drugs into me. They said it was caused by either dehydration, the sedative or that the probe had stimulated my vagus nerve. They kept me all day until my BP was nearer normal.

      Two days later I felt my heart racing when walking and realised that I was in atrial fibrillation. It was the probe that caused it, according to the arrythmia nurse at the hospital it often happens. Result on warfarin and amiodarone (and side effects)  and then a four month wait for a cardioversion and of course still on drugs.

      You could ask for a virtual colonoscopy (CT scan) but of course they are not able to take samples. When I told my GP that I was going to arrange for the Virtual colnoscopy privately rather than have the usual NHS wait he wanted to save me the money and sent me to a local private hospital who take NHS patients. How I wish that he had let me spend my own money.

      My wife has had at various times peptic, gastric and a duodenal ulcer. However with two other sets of symptoms that had her hospitalised in extreme pain nothing was found after  two endoscopies and a CT scan. That is when they give up on you.

       

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    • Posted

      Oh I don't want or expect them to find anything nasty, I just want to find out what's causing the pain and the dysphagia so I can get it treated. I think I may have oesophageal spasms and I think the pain in my stomach is my hernia, which is not affected by eating at all, just by movement and lifting. Once I know the reason then I can relax. 
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