Frequent heartburn increases the risk for throat cancer, a new study has found, and over-the-counter antacids may provide protection.
Researchers studied heartburn incidence and medication use in 631 patients with squamous cell cancers of the throat and vocal cords who were not heavy smokers or drinkers, matching them with 1,234 healthy controls. The study was published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
After controlling for age, sex, race, smoking, alcohol consumption, HPV 16 infection, education and body mass index, they found that people who had reported a history of frequent heartburn were 78 percent more likely to have cancer than those who did not. Those with frequent heartburn who took antacids reduced their risk for cancer by 41 percent, compared with those whose heartburn was untreated.
“We have confirmed that heartburn is an independent risk factor, and standard antacid treatment of heartburn may reduce the risk of throat cancer,” said the lead author, Scott M. Langevin, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Cincinnati.
There was no reduced risk among those taking proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec and others) or histamine H2 receptor antagonists (Zantac, for example) — but this may be because people taking such drugs are likely to have the most severe cases of acid reflux, and not because those drugs are ineffective, the researchers said.
Connie’s comments: Eat good fats and whole foods, up intake of Vitamin C, find natural ways to increase your immune system from destressing and healthy lifestyle, take a good dietary supplement.
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