Stomach cancer usually begins in the mucus-producing cells that line the stomach. This type of cancer is called adenocarcinoma.
For the past several decades, rates of cancer in the main part of the stomach (stomach body) have been falling worldwide. During the same period, cancer in the area where the top part of the stomach (cardia) meets the lower end of the swallowing tube (esophagus) has become much more common. This area of the stomach is called the gastroesophageal junction.
Signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal junction cancer and stomach cancer may include:
Feeling bloated after eating
Feeling full after eating small amounts of food
Severe, persistent heartburn
Severe indigestion that is always present
Unexplained, persistent nausea
Unintentional weight loss
In general, cancer begins when an error (mutation) occurs in a cell's DNA. The mutation causes the cell to grow and divide at a rapid rate and to continue living when a normal cell would die. The accumulating cancerous cells form a tumor that can invade nearby structures. And cancer cells can break off from the tumor to spread throughout the body.
Gastroesophageal junction cancer is associated with having gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) and, less strongly, with obesity and smoking. GERD is a condition caused by frequent backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
There is a strong correlation between a diet high in smoked and salted foods and stomach cancer located in the main part of the stomach. As the use of refrigeration for preserving foods has increased around the world, the rates of stomach cancer have declined.
Stomach Cancer & 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 stomach (gastric) cancer. Stomach cancer is diagnosed in an estimated 27,600 people in the U.S. each year, mostly in adults aged 65 and older.
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 Stomach 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 stomach cancer after taking Zantac, or wish to know if Zantac caused your stomach 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 stomach 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 Stomach Cancer
If you were diagnosed with 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 stomach 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.