Overview Of Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is cancer that occurs in the esophagus — a long, hollow tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. Your esophagus helps move the food you swallow from the back of your throat to your stomach to be digested.
Esophageal cancer usually begins in the cells that line the inside of the esophagus. Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the esophagus. More men than women get esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Incidence rates vary within different geographic locations. In some regions, higher rates of esophageal cancer may be attributed to tobacco and alcohol use or particular nutritional habits and obesity.
Symptoms Of Esophageal Cancer
Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
Weight loss without trying
Chest pain, pressure or burning
Worsening indigestion or heartburn
Coughing or hoarseness
Early esophageal cancer typically causes no signs or symptoms.
Causes Of Esophageal Cancer
It's not exactly clear what causes esophageal cancer.
Esophageal cancer occurs when cells in the esophagus develop changes (mutations) in their DNA. The changes make cells grow and divide out of control. The accumulating abnormal cells form a tumor in the esophagus that can grow to invade nearby structures and spread to other parts of the body.
Types Of Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal cancer is classified according to the type of cells that are involved. The type of esophageal cancer you have helps determine your treatment options. Types of esophageal cancer include:
Adenocarcinoma. Adenocarcinoma begins in the cells of mucus-secreting glands in the esophagus. Adenocarcinoma occurs most often in the lower portion of the esophagus. Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of esophageal cancer in the United States, and it affects primarily white men.
Squamous cell carcinoma. The squamous cells are flat, thin cells that line the surface of the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma occurs most often in the upper and middle portions of the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most prevalent esophageal cancer worldwide.
Other rare types. Some rare forms of esophageal cancer include small cell carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma, melanoma and choriocarcinoma.
Esophageal Cancer And Zantac
Brand-name Zantac products are commonly used in the United States and worldwide to treat issues such as heartburn, acid reflux, and ulcers.
Recent concerns have emerged about the safety of Zantac, however, in response to alarming test results out of the laboratory of online pharmacy, Valisure. These test results showed unsafe levels of a carcinogenic (cancerous) chemical known as NDMA in their tested Zantac products.
One of the types of cancer linked to overexposure to NDMA is colorectal cancer.
Many people who have taken Zantac regularly, or have lost a loved one to cancer after using Zantac products, are now suing Zantac drugmakers for failing to disclose the potential link between use of their products and various cancers.
How To Know If Zantac Caused Your Esophageal Cancer
Zantac is a brand name for the generic drug, ranitidine. Not all ranitidine products are necessarily believed to be contaminated with dangerous amounts of NDMA, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
If you are concerned about your risk for developing esophageal cancer after taking Zantac, or wish to know if Zantac caused your esophageal cancer, your best course of action is to talk to your doctor or cancer treatment team. Your doctor can evaluate your risk, or probable causes of your intestinal cancer through careful consideration of your medical history and Zantac use.
At this time, the FDA does not know how many people are likely to have been affected by the toxic amounts of NDMA in Zantac and ranitidine products. An investigation into the scope of the issue and the likelihood of developing cancer after taking Zantac is currently ongoing.
What To Do If You Think Zantac Caused Your Esophageal Cancer
If you were diagnosed with intestinal cancer after taking Zantac regularly for a health problem, you are not alone. Several class action and individual lawsuits have been filed across the U.S. by individuals and loved ones who received a cancer diagnosis after taking Zantac or ranitidine products.
The basis for these lawsuits is generally one of negligence. Negligence is a legal theory in personal injury law that traces personal injury or wrongful death to the negligent behavior of an individual or entity—such as a business or pharmaceutical company.
In the context of recent Zantac lawsuits, the negligence of named defendants (Zantac drugmakers) refers to their failure to properly warn the government, healthcare providers, and the public of the amount of NDMA in their drugs, violating U.S. consumer protection laws.
The types of Zantac cancer lawsuits that have been filed include:
product liability (defective drug) lawsuits
personal injury lawsuits
wrongful death lawsuits
Several plaintiffs who have taken legal action against Zantac drugmakers have not been diagnosed with cancer, but are nonetheless seeking compensation for the amount of money spent on Zantac through their regular use of the drugs.
If you’ve been diagnosed with esophageal cancer after taking Zantac and experienced significant financial or emotional distress, an attorney will likely recommend filing an individual lawsuit to seek fair compensation for your losses.
You can determine your eligibility for filing an individual lawsuit by speaking to an experienced dangerous drug attorney.