Does Zantac Cause Testicular Cancer?

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Does Zantac Cause Testicular Cancer?

Written by Malman Law, reviewed by Steve J. Malman.

In the Spring of 2019, a small online pharmacy, Valisure, identified NDMA across lots of Zantac and similar generic products. The company does routine testing of the drugs it sells to ensure safety for its customers, and the contaminate was discovered during said testing. Upon this finding, several large drugstore chains discontinued selling the ranitidine medications, and several manufacturers pulled their products. In April of 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a product withdrawal that removed all such medications from the shelves. The serious nature of this action is indicative of the serious nature of the finding.

Testicular Cancer

The Mayo Clinic shares that testicular cancer is rare but that it is the most common form of cancer for boys and men between the ages of 15 and 35. Fortunately, this cancer generally responds well to treatment. Symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • A dull ache in the groin or abdomen
  • A lump in or an enlargement of either testicle
  • A heavy feeling in the scrotum
  • Sudden fluid collection in the scrotum
  • Discomfort or pain in the scrotum or testicle

Indeed, recent evidence has caused alarm among both healthcare professionals and the general public regarding the potential danger of Zantac, a once popular over-the-counter heartburn medication.

Specifically, studies have linked Zantac to an increased risk of testicular cancer, a serious and potentially life-threatening cancer. This is concerning news for anyone who has taken Zantac in the past for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), digestive disturbances, or heartburn.

More About the Link of Zantac with Testicular Cancer

The heartburn medication, Zantac, is the brand name for the generic drug known as ranitidine. The drug, an H2 antagonist and blocker, reduces stomach acid effectively. However, the NDMA contained in the product makes it dangerous to consume.

Moreover, the carcinogen, which is found in grilled meats, vegetables, dairy products, and water, increases in the product over time. So, if the medicine is stocked on shelves, the potency of the NDMA becomes progressively stronger.

While the original Zantac is no longer sold in stores or available by prescription, a new Zantac 360 has emerged. Drug makers introduced a safe and different formula. Zantac 360. The 360 version contains famotidine as its active ingredient. Therefore, the new formulation does not contain unacceptable levels of NDMA like the previous Zantac did..

Zantac and GERD

Doctors who treat GERD or heartburn state that the condition can be cured. GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, results when a person’s sphincter muscle is weak, which causes stomach acids to back up in the esophagus. A person with this condition may feel a burning sensation in the chest, regurgitate food, or even experience hoarseness or coughing spells.

Taking Zantac During Pregnancy

In addition, pregnant women, who may experience heartburn from time to time, have also had to seek legal help after taking Zantac. That’s because their infants or toddlers were diagnosed with testicular cancer after they took the medicine for heartburn relief. Therefore, their use of Zantac during pregnancy may have exposed their unborn baby to NDMA.

As a result, men who have taken Zantac in the past or pregnant women who used Zantac for heartburn relief may be counted among complainants in Zantac testicular cancer lawsuits.

Types of Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer may develop as a seminoma or nonseminoma in its more common form of a germ cell tumor. Seminomas tend to be slower-growing and less aggressive than nonseminomas. Both types of testicular cancer are treatable if detected and treated early.

This is why it’s critical for men to be aware of their risk factors for testicular cancer and to take action if they notice any related symptoms.

Germ Cell Tumors

Germ cell tumors account for over 95% of testicular cancer diagnoses. The other main type of cancer, a stromal tumor, develops around the germ cells in the testicles and makes up 5% of diagnosed testicular cancer cases.

Both germ cell tumors and stromal tumors have subtypes.

Germ Cell Tumor Subtypes

The seminoma germ cell tumor. This type of germ cell tumor is classified either as a classic seminoma or a spermatocytic seminoma, which is often found in older patients. Both subtypes are treated with radiation, chemotherapy, and/or surgery.

Nonseminomatous germ cell tumors. These germ cell tumors fall under four types of subtypes:

  1. Embryonal sarcoma represents a quickly growing tumor that occurs about 40% of the time.
  2. Yolk sac carcinoma is the most common form of testicular tumor in children. It responds well to chemotherapy.
  3. Choriocarcinoma is a very rare tumor but is also aggressive.
  4. Teratoma tumors may be local but spread to the lymph nodes. This mixed type tumor resists radiation and chemotherapy, so surgery is often indicated for the disease. Three types of teratoma are recognized: mature teratomas, immature teratomas, and rare teratomas with somatic-type malignancy.

Stromal Tumors

Stromal tumors have a good prognosis if surgically removed. They include Leydig cell tumors, which produce testosterone, or Sertoli cell tumors, which are normally benign.

Again, many people have used Zantac to treat occasional heartburn and indigestion, while others have used it regularly as a prophylactic medication to prevent acid reflux disease. As noted, women have relied on Zantac to treat indigestion and morning sickness during pregnancy, thus exposing their infants while in the womb to NDMA.

Potential Risks and Complications

When diagnosed, testicular cancer comes with a five-year survival rate. This means that a certain percentage of men live at least five years after they’re diagnosed with testicular cancer. The five-year survival rate in the U.S. currently stands at 95%.

The survival rate is higher when cancer is found early. About 68% of cases are determined during this stage. If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, the rate drops. About 18% of cases are diagnosed during this phase of development.

If the cancer spreads to the lungs or other organs, doctors set the survival rate at about 73%. Around 12% of testicular cases are diagnosed when the cancer has spread.

Unfortunately, testicular cancer is notorious for being difficult to catch in its early stages. There are typically no symptoms and it is often diagnosed during a routine doctor’s visit or while undergoing a medical test.

What Should I Do If I Have Taken Zantac?

The most important step you can take if you have taken Zantac regularly is to get your testicles checked for cancer. If you have taken Zantac for more than one year, you should have your doctor perform a testicular exam.

Also, to cover the costs of the treatment and care you need, you need to speak to a Zantac settlement attorney about your medical condition and your use of Zantac for GERD, indigestion, or heartburn.

Prevention Strategies

While medication is often recommended to treat heartburn, a patient may also find other ways to manage the condition. This includes following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and taking probiotics.

Staying Informed and Up to Date on the Latest Research

As research progresses, new developments will shed light on the potential link between Zantac and testicular cancer. Therefore, it is important to stay up to date on the latest research to be aware of any new information.

It is also important to communicate with your healthcare provider about any concerns or questions you have about having taken Zantac and the development of your cancer. They can provide you with objective medical advice and recommendations based on their experience.

Discuss Your Case with a Zantac Lawsuit Attorney

If you’re a Zantac user who is now facing a testicular cancer diagnosis, it’s in your best interest to discuss the strength of your case with a dedicated Zantac lawsuit attorney today. In Illinois, call Malman Law at 1-888-997-7599 to discuss your case now.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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