Are Nexium users at an increased risk of developing cancer due to their condition?



As Nexium users know all too well, heartburn is a common condition that plagues many Americans. In fact, more than 60 million adults suffer from the ailment to a certain degree.

As Nexium users know all too well, heartburn is a common condition that plagues many Americans. In fact, more than 60 million adults suffer from the ailment to a certain degree. However, many are unaware of the increased risk they are at for developing esophageal cancer as a result of it. A new study has uncovered data that supports these claims.

Recent findings
Researchers from Rhode Island Hospital conducted a study that found Barrett's esophagus may be the trigger that results in a cancer diagnosis for acid reflux patients. Through their investigations, the doctors also looked for ways to prevent this from occurring. In fact, they were successful in doing so by way of a proton pump inhibitor. This device may help to reduce occurrences of esophageal cancer in patients who have Barrett's esophagus, although additional testing is needed on the subject.

"Further research is needed, but this finding suggests that patients with acid reflux complicated by Barrett's esophagus may be able to significantly reduce, or even eliminate, their risk of esophageal cancer through daily or twice-daily doses of PPI," Dr. Weibiao Cao, the principal investigator of the study, explained to Lifespan.

Barrett's esophagus
According to WebMD, Barrett's esophagus is a complication that may develop due to GERD. This takes place when the tissue of an individual's esophagus changes to look more like the lining of the intestine. This happens due to the repeated exposure of acid to the cells, which causes damage to the tissue. Although there aren't any additional heartburn symptoms as a result, the affected area is at a greater risk for disease. Nearly 10 percent of acid reflux sufferers develop this condition, which can then lead to cancer in less than 1 percent of cases.

Those at risk
It's important for Nexium users to understand that these findings aren't relevant to everyone who experiences heartburn. Not all cases lead to Barrett's esophagus, a condition that actually only plagues a small portion of acid reflux sufferers. On top of that, not all individuals who have the ailment are condemned to cancer; however, it does increase a person's risk. That's why it's important for people to consult with health care professionals regarding the best treatment regime for their specific symptoms and conditions. Additionally, those at risk can avoid foods and other triggers that lead to an increase in acid reflux symptoms. This can help to prevent damages from occurring to the esophagus in the first place.