Chronic heartburn may mean higher risk for some cancers

May 23, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Millions of Americans have to deal with chronic heartburn problems every day. Now there's word this group of people may be at increased risk for cancers of the throat and vocal chords -- even if they don't smoke or drink alcohol.

There has been a controversy about whether heartburn contributes to throat and vocal cord cancers and this study found it elevates the risk by about 78%. Some surprising news from this research: scientists discovered that simple, common-over-the-counter antacids seemed to protect against these cancers while prescription medications such as Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid didn't.

Authors say the role of antacids as a protective agent still needs to be studied.

The information can be found in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology and Biomarkers and Prevention.

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