The FDA is considering a petition the Esophageal Cancer Action Network (ECAN) filed calling for warning labels on antacids to clearly state that they can mask symptoms of esophageal cancer. According to ECAN, one American dies of esophageal cancer every 36 minutes and the type of esophageal cancer caused by reflux disease is the fastest increasing cancer among American men. As Mindy Modecai, founder of ECAN, told Stephanie Stahl of CBS 3, warning labels currently state that the use of these antacids could lead to “serious conditions,” but there is no mention of the connection to cancer.
When Jefferson patient Joe Moore was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, it was advanced – and the main symptom was heartburn that had been controlled with antacids for 30 years.
Anthony Infantolino, MD, Director of Jefferson’s Barrett’s Esophagus Treatment Center, told CBS3, “Taking these things and feeling better does not decrease your risk for esophageal cancer.”
If you experience chronic heartburn, call 1-800-Jeff-NOW and schedule an endoscopy with a Jefferson Physician to evaluate your risk for cancer.