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Vera918
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Quote Vera918 Replybullet Calendar Event: Newly diagnosed
    Posted: 08 Apr 2018 at 1:34pm
Hi I am 31 years old and newly diagnosed Barrett’s esophagus and heital hernia. My doctor did not say how big my segment was but just that it was not that bad. I have never experienced one day of Gerd symptoms but did have my gallbladder removed prior to dx due to stones and sludge. Needless to say I have been a crying mess since diagnosis, I have two small children ages 2 and 4 and we were planning a 3rd which I don’t think will be an option since this diagnosis. I am petrified that this will progress into cancer and I will not see my children grow up. Due to my age I feel that I have a higher risk to progression and can’t understand why I would just sit and wait for it to become cancer before treating it someway? I mean I understand it may not progress tomorrow, but even 5 years from now seems unrealistic to be a sitting duck. I am just looking for advice from others who were diagnosed at a young age and how they manage or what they have done to keep it from progressing. Thanks everyone.
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 08 Apr 2018 at 2:16pm
Hi Vera and welcome to the forum.

First off, let me reassure you, you are almost definitely not going to die of cancer.
The risks are very small: in US annual risks are one in a thousand but the fact you have been diagnosed means you are one of the lucky ones who will receive appropriate medical treatment and surveillance to look for any possibility of it becoming cancerous and if any of those cellular changes are ever seen, you can have it removed. It's those who don't know they have it who are at risk and may never know they have t until it is too late.

I have known I have Barrett's for at least 24 years and probably much longer.

Next, if you wish to try for a third child, there's no reason why not. You may experience more reflux during pregnancy but doesn't seem to have been an issue previously? There is a theory that oestrogen may be protective, precisely for this eventuality, which would account for the fact that men are far more likely to get it than women.
About 40% of those with Barrett's claim never to have experienced the acid reflux that contributed to its formation.

Instead of thinking of Barrett's as a Sword of Damocles hanging over your head, think of it as an untrustworthy friend. (See "My friend Barry" on the Barrett's Wessex website.) The Barrett's cells have formed as a kind of armour plating to your lower oesophagus to protect it from acid erosion.

You will probably have been prescribed a "PPI" (Proton Pump Inhibitor) drug (eg omeprazole / Prilosec, lansoprazole / Prevacid or esomeprazole / Nexium. There are many others.). You will see many unfounded scare stories about these but they have been shown to reduce risk of progression by a further 71%. The current advice for anyone with Barretts is you'll need to remain on them for life but do make sure your doctor monitors their usage. You will also have regular surveillance scoping (usually every 2 to 5 years depending upon the size and presentation of your Barrett's, your body build, familial history and anxiety levels amongst other factors.

You will find this free encylopaedia (described as "the definitive book on the subject"), Down With Acid will answer many of your questions (and if you message me with a postal address, I'll send you a printed copy free (though a donation is suggested).)

You will also get many well meaning folk trying to tell you what to eat or not to eat but most of it is propagated myth. See the Food section of the Down With Acid book.

But do please ask all your questions and we'll try and answer them.
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Vera918
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Quote Vera918 Replybullet Posted: 08 Apr 2018 at 7:11pm
Thank you Chris. I know my Barrett’s is without Dysplasia and I have just been scared stiff since diagnosis. I believe I will need Nissan fundo surgery because my reflux is what caused the Barrett’s. So that will most likely be he next step.
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Vera918
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Quote Vera918 Replybullet Posted: 10 Apr 2018 at 10:11pm
I do have a quick question, my dr. Did not say how big my segment was but did say that it’s not that bad. When I received my pathology report he only took one biopsy of that area, which confuses me because everywhere I have read that it is at least 4, or am I wrong?

Edited by Vera918 - 10 Apr 2018 at 10:11pm
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 10 Apr 2018 at 10:56pm
The Seattle protocol calls for 4 biopsies every 2 cm length of the affected area. (See this chapter of Down With Acid.)
However, if your Barrett's is not extensive enough, ie less than 2 cm or not a complete collar around the oesophagus, the endoscopist cannot do that.
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Vera918
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Quote Vera918 Replybullet Posted: 10 Apr 2018 at 11:05pm
Oh ok I understand, thanks!
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