Very worried about oesophageal cancer...

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I'm a 22 year old female and I've suffered with regurgitation of food into my mouth since I was around 17-18 but it has got worse over the last few years. I also suffer with acid reflux. I'm 5'2 and weigh about 54kg. 

In the last month or two it has become very difficult to eat due to a feeling that something is stuck in my throat. This usually gets worse when I swallow solid food, even if I've chewed it thoroughly. My apetite has decreased a lot as a result as the sensation is extremely uncomfortable and I've been worried I'll choke when I'm eating. I'm having to really concentrate when eating and drink water after every mouthful. I haven't had any significant pain (though a bit of a sore throat today) but the lump in my throat sensation is very uncomfortable and is around the 'adams apple' type area of the throat. The lump feeling is also present when I'm not eating, it's there when I wake up in the morning etc. but definitely gets worse with eating and remains that way for hours and hours afterwards and then may improve slightly until I eat again.  

I don't think my voice sounds any different though it feels mildly sore when I talk. I haven't had any siginificant weight loss but I can see that if my diet continues like this (i.e. not eating enough) then I am definitely going to start losing weight so I'm trying to eat as much as I can by just chewing food loads, drinking a lot of water and taking my time. 

I've talked to a GP in the past about my reflux/regurgitation and have been prescibed omerprazole (though I'm not currently taking it). I saw my GP today as I'm very concerned and she said she can't feel anything on the outside of my neck (like lumps or lymph nodes or anything). However, she referred me for an urgent (2 week wait) endoscopy. Though I'm glad the test is being so quickly arranged, I'm absolutely terrified that I have oesophageal cancer as from looking online I seem to have the symptoms for it and worried because the doctor wanted it checked out so quickly. 

I know I need to have the endoscopy but I'm dreading it for what they will find. 

The GP said she isn't worried because I'm 22 and she said if I was 70 she would be but I'm not. She said she thinks I'm descibing globus pharangeus which is just hypersensitivty to the feeling of swallowing. But after I got home I looked that up and it said that people with globus can usually eat and drink without any problems and eating relieves the globus feeling which is the opposite for me. This has also made me feel very concerned moreso that it's something more serious. 

I know I need to just wait to have the tests but I wanted to post this in the mean time to see if anyone has had similar experiences and what they think because I'm just waiting and worrying about it. 

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    From what I gather you really need to have an endoscopy.  My problems are different to yours and I know how you must feel.  For the past few years I have had numerous endoscopies, I still have problems swallowing food getting stuck etc. 

    If it is your first insist on sedation, hopefully with your problems this will be automatic if they suggest just the spray then ask for sedation it just relaxes you and is far better.

    Good luck will be thinking of you.

     

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, I got my appointment through for next Tuesday so I'm just going to try and keep myself distracted as much as possible until then and try not to think about it!

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  • Posted

    The waiting time for an endoscopy that is non-urgent can be very long, depending on where you live, so I think what may have happened is that your doctor has put you on the 2-week wait system so that you are seen reasomnably quickly;  otherwise you would have been very frustrated by the dealy, perhaps.

    ​So do not think that because it is a 2-week wait system you are more likely to have cancer.   There are quite a lot of variations in conditions that would be consistent with what you describe, and cancer would be a very unusual thing.   You do need to have the endoscopy anyway, and after that the diagnosis should be a bit further forward.

    ​One of the things you may have to do, one you have had your endoscopy, is a discussion with your doctor about whether some form of acid / reflux medication might be necessary after all.   These medications are often prescribed for a period of a couple of months ago to see whether the reduced acid in your oesophagus helps your condition to heal.

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  • Posted

    hi i started with this and was diagnosed with a rare condition called achalasia,google it and read the info,i had a barium swallow,followed by the camera into my throad then was sent to a specialist where more tests were done and finally i was diagnosed
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    • Posted

      Hi, I had an endoscopy last week and they reported everything to look normal but have taken routine biopsies to rule out eosinophilic oesophagitis, thought they didn't see any visible rings or inflammation, still waiting on the biopsies (will be over a week probs) and the endoscopist wrote 'no further tests required follow up with GP' . Did you have an endoscopy? Could they see the achalasia on the endoscopy? The food really gets stuck right at the beginning of swallowing. It's really frustrating and losing weight as a result of not being able to eat any solids now, only liquids and soups with no bits at all. I tried noodles today but they got stuck and i started coughing and sneezing loads. Going to go back to the GP on Monday.

      Have you had any effective treatment for your condition?

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    • Posted

      The endoscopy would normally  disprove or establish any physical obstruction that migth account for your swallowing difficulties.   the endoscopist would prepare a report.   They might find evidence of achalasia in the form of  unswallowed food, or note a tight lower oesophageal sphincter, but the next test for achalasia would be a barium swallow  test
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