Urgent: Why is this deadly cancer spreading so fast?
It’s now being called the “fastest growing cancer in the U.S.”
And many experts are confused by the mystery…
…why an especially aggressive and dangerous type of esophageal cancer that was very “uncommon” 40 years ago is now the most frequent kind.
But some researchers believe they may have uncovered the answer.
Because as more evidence is coming in, it looks like everything is pointing in one direction.
“Clearly something has happened.”
That’s what Dr. Manjit Bains, who is a thoracic surgeon at Sloan Kettering, is saying about this deadly shift in esophageal cancer.
Back in the 1970s, squamous cell carcinomas made up 90 percent of all cases.
Then things started changing. Changing in a very odd way — and for the worse.
Researchers tried to point the finger at the usual suspects — obesity, better detection — things that were easy to pin the blame on.
But those excuses didn’t explain why the predominant type of esophageal cancer is now the worst kind of all.
This lethal kind is called adenocarcinoma, and it’s now become the norm in over 80 percent of cases.
And now it looks like the smoking gun has just come in from researchers in Denmark.
They set out to uncover if the use of proton pump inhibitors — things like Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec — were helping people in Denmark who had a condition called Barrett’s esophagus. That’s when cells in the lower portion of the esophagus become abnormal.
Researchers wanted to see how well these PPI drugs were protecting those people from getting esophageal cancer.
But the results turned out quite differently than they expected.
Not only did the PPIs not give any protection against cancer, but long-term use of them actually “significantly” increased the risk of adenocarcinoma — the more deadly kind that’s now on the rise.
And that wasn’t the first time we’ve seen this, either.
A study published in JAMA came to the same conclusion.
Dr. Paul Rosche, who is a professor at New York Medical College, also said that these PPIs could be the contributing factor for “the sharp rise” in the adenocarcinomas. In his study he noted how the rise in that disease “mirrors the increased use of these drugs.”
And Dr. Rosche said that four years ago!
By now you would think that the FDA would step in and make the manufacturers of these pills warn doctors — and patients — about this risk.
But instead, it’s done just the opposite.
This summer, the FDA just allowed the fourth PPI — Nexium — to go OTC.
Now the “Purple Pill” can sit right alongside the cherry-flavored Tums like it’s just another innocent way to help heartburn.
For decades doctors held fast to the idea (helped along by Big Pharma), that stomach acid was the culprit behind esophageal cancers.
And they made the solution sound easy — get rid of the acid and you won’t be damaging your throat and esophagus.
But it’s not that simple. Not by a long shot.
The Danish researchers had this to say about that long-held belief: “there is more to reflux than just acid.”
And that “PPI use may facilitate the formation of carcinogenic bile acids, explaining some of our findings.”
So when you suppress stomach acid, you open the door for other, very serious things to come into play. And that includes dangers from other enzymes in your body — ones that would have been inactivated by that acid you’ve eliminated.
I’ve been warning you for years now about the terrible risks you take when you pop these acid-reducing pills. And, as Dr. Spreen has told us, they can even cause weakening of the GE sphincter that is supposed to protect us against stomach acid in the first place.
Now it’s more urgent than ever to get off these drugs — prescription or OTC — if you’re taking them.
“Heartburn drugs and esophageal cancer?” November 10, 2014, The People’s Pharmacy, peoplespharmacy.com