Acid reflux drugs could double your risk of stomach cancer

Acid reflux drugs that are supposed to prevent stomach cancer could double your risk of developing the potentially-fatal illness, according to a new study.

The report, published in the journal Gut, concluded that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) significantly increase people's risk of being diagnosed with gastrointestinal tumors, which are the third deadliest type.

PPIs such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Protonix are prescribed to wipe out a certain type of bacteria that is linked to the cancer.

But after this happens, if a person continues to take a PPI, their cancer risk surges, according to the research by the University of Hong Kong and University College London.

The study's authors warn their findings show doctors should impose more limits on how many PPIs they prescribe, and for how long.

A new study has found that acid reflux drugs, such as Prilosec, might double one's risk of developing stomach cancer (file photo)

A new study has found that acid reflux drugs, such as Prilosec, might double one's risk of developing stomach cancer (file photo)

EXPLAINED: STOMACH CANCER

Stomach cancer usually begins in cells that line the stomach and produce mucus. 

The following are symptoms of stomach cancer:

fatigue being bloated after eating severe heartburn unintentional weight loss  persistent vomiting stomach pain nausea

Risk factors that increase one's risk of developing stomach cancer include:

smoking eating high amounts of smoked and salty foods long-lasting stomach inflammation

You can decrease your risk of developing the cancer by:

exercising eat more fruits and vegetables refraining from smoking

For the study researchers looked at data from 63,397 adults. Some treated acid reflux using PPIs only, while others used medications called histamine H2 receptor antagonists (H2 blockers).

The participants

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