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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stomach Acid Inhibitor Drugs May Mask Cancer Symptoms

Posted by Prahallad Panda on 9:00 PM 5 comments

This cancer presented in a 40-year-old woman c...Cancer Of Stomach

“New dyspepsia in old” is a warning symptom of underlying more serious disease like cancer stomach.
Free availability of medicines from the organizations, little learning and “It will not happen to me” are some of the dangerous notions. Stomach cancer affects insidiously without much clear cut symptoms; often mimic acid related problems. All the above notions add fuel to fire, in delaying consultation with the appropriate health care personnel.
A doctor friend of a bureaucrat, accidentally discovers proton pump inhibitor drugs used to suppress stomach acid, in the drawer of his friend; and inquires the cause of the use. He is a habitual chewer of tobacco in betel. He defends: since long he is using the drug for acid problem and feeling good, but recently there is a little aggravation in spite of its use. The doctor friend of his advises for an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy; and eventually a much advanced cancer of stomach was detected. Needless, to to say that, only a food bypass surgery was possible; the patient passed away some six months later. So, this is the worst result of self medication and self diagnosis. Another patient was virtually dragged and subjected to endoscopy by his wife, but still it was late; a resection of stomach was done and perhaps he survived for some three to four years.
Frequently, symptoms pertaining to stomach cancer like pain abdomen, vomiting, vomiting of blood and obstruction to passage of food come later; than more ambiguous symptoms like dyspepsia, acidity and heart burn etc., which are suppressed by acid inhibitors. “New dyspepsia in old” should be viewed suspiciously and a very affordable and accessible investigation like endoscopy is to be advised. If accompanied by anemia, weight loss, black stool, lymph nodes (above the left collar bone in the neck and near umbilicus) are present; cancer of stomach is a presumptive diagnosis, unless proved otherwise.
H. Pylori infection present in areas with no access to safe drinking water, has been seen to be associated with it. That causes atrophic gastritis, a form of damage to the stomach inside lining called mucosa; and gradual transformation to cancer. Nitrosamines in contaminated food, cigarette smoking, some genetic predisposition and ingestion of hot spicy food are advanced as possible causes; in absence  of knowledge of exact cause for it. More cases are seen in Japan where people are accustomed to taking smoked fish.
A very skeptical doctor and a cautious patient may contribute to the early diagnosis of many cancer stomach patients.
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