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Author Topic: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer  (Read 389 times)

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Offline dvst8u

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Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« on: April 23, 2014, 01:53:22 PM »
Hi Everyone

I've been following this forum for quite some time and finally decided to post as I have been overwhelmed with fear.  I'm a 41 year old male 1/2 day smoker, non drinker with a previous history of health anxiety approx. 13 years ago and was in remission until this past October 2014.

I've had GERD pretty much since my early 20's but never thought much of it.  I would take a zantac and move on.  This year in October for the first time in many many years I decided to visit Dr. Google after waking with a weird pain in my shoulder and back.  At the time I was convinced it was lung cancer.  So I googled more & more & more.  All of the sudden I started to get heartburn every night with pain radiating to my mid back, but not an aching pain it was more of a burning pain, with a lot of burping which felt like I had something stuck under my left shoulder blade.  I went to the Dr. we did a chest x-ray, blood work, urine sample, abdominal ultrasound, and ultrasound of my thyroid.  All tests came back normal.  I then continued to google and boom I up came Oesophageal Cancer and Stomach Cancer a perfect match to my symptoms.  Since reading these articles in the last 5 months I've lost between 8-10 lbs.  I'm not eating as much my symptoms are still there almost daily, however if I'm busy and preoccupied I don't really notice them until I sit down to relax and eat.  Then the back burning starts, the heartburn starts, the mind starts racing my stomach feels bloated and gassy and now I have a knot in my sternum from constantly checking and prodding looking for lumps, and when I burp I feel a weird knot in my shoulder.

So my Dr. has diagnosed me with GERD, Costochondritis from constant chest tension, and now GAD.  He prescribed me with dexilant 60mg PPI once a day for the GERD but I stopped taking it as it made me feel worse (heartburn was relieved but caused other symptoms), and has now ordered an gastroscopy to put my mind at ease as he believes that my health anxiety is causing the symptoms to appear worse than they are.

Has any else experience any of these type of weird symptoms with their health anxiety?  The doctor doesn't seem too concerned about cancer of the oesophagus or stomach, should I be worried?  I'm too afraid to go see the Gastro Dr. for the endoscope.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Online mollyfin

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Re: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 11:33:23 PM »
If your doctor isn't worried, odds are you shouldn't be either. 
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Offline dvst8u

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Re: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2014, 11:36:24 AM »
Easier said than done.

I went to see a gastro referred to my GP.  He strongly believes it's GERD induced by anxiety.  I asked him several questions related to stomach cancer etc. his response was well lets do an endoscopy to put your mind at ease.  I told him about my weight loss of 10lbs in 6months so I have kept track of my eating habits and I generally eat no more than 1500 CAL per day sometimes less.  Sometimes my stomach feels full or my anxiety takes over and I'm not even hungry.  Anyway he did say something funny which was "Dr. Google has made me a very wealthy man" :)  Most patients he sees have already gone in thinking the worse.

So I have my endoscopy scheduled June 11 will be back to post the findings if any.  I still can't believe that GERD and Anxiety can have so many physical symptoms and all similar to GI cancers.


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Offline AOKAY

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Re: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2014, 01:47:48 PM »
I can certainly identify with your symptoms and your conclusions.  I have gone through two episodes in the past of convincing myself I had stomach cancer, based upon symptoms similar to yours and Dr. Google.  One was in 2003 and one in 2009.  In both cases my gastroenterologist agreed to perform endoscopies to "put my mind at ease".  He was convinced going in that he would find nothing fatal, and he did not.  Both times the diagnosis was gastritis with hiatus hernia. 
I will always remember my doctor's comment when I asked him when I would need another endoscopy and he said "never".  He said my stress was giving me the gastritis symptoms and I needed to get that under control.  Stomach and esophagus cancers are actually pretty rare, so it is the last thing on the list that doctors expect to find when patients present with symptoms like ours.
I'm going through another stressful period now, and my gastritis symptoms have returned.  But I know what it is and need to deal with the stress before the stomach issues will subside.
Good luck with your endoscopy.  I have a feeling you will be fine and once the doctor rules out the big "C" you'll start feeling better and your weight will rebound (if you let it).   My best to you.
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Offline dvst8u

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Re: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2014, 03:07:48 PM »
Thanks for the positive encouragement AOKAY

3 days and counting for the endoscopy will be back to post.
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Offline marc

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Re: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2014, 03:48:58 PM »
Back in 2005, I was getting terrible burning in my back when I ate and the pain radiated from my right
rib to my back. The EGD was performed in June 2005 and uncovered an esophageal ulcer. The GI
prescribed Nexium and I had another EGD in August 2005 to check on the ulcer and all was good.
An ulcer is no big deal. I did not have H-Pylori bacteria, which can cause ulcers. I also have a hiatal
hernia and I used to drink a glass of wine with dinner, but no more. The EGD is a piece of cake as I
have had 7 or 8 of them.
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If you're going through hell, keep going.
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Offline dvst8u

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Re: Health Anxiety - Oesophageal Cancer/Stomach Cancer
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2014, 06:46:29 PM »
So as promised did my EGD and no stomach cancer or ulcers. They did find a 10cm haital hernia which would be the root cause of my issues.  All that stress, sleepless nights weight loss you name it was anxiety related.  Now I'm going to be on meds to control my reflux.

Thanks everyone for the support so weird how anxiety can cause a wack of issues.
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