Zantac Cancer Symptoms

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Zantac Cancer Symptoms

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

If you have taken Zantac in the past to relieve heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and were diagnosed with cancer, you need to speak immediately to a Zantac lawsuit lawyer.

The medication, Zantac, used for decades by many people, is linked to increased cancer risks and diagnoses.

On April 1, 2020, the FDA requested removal of the medicine off of store shelves because it contains the carcinogen, N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). The old Zantac formula was made up of the active ingredient, ranitidine, which contains the contaminant.

Since that time, the over-the-counter heartburn medication has been formulated under the brand, Zantac 360. This new formula contains the active ingredient, famotidine, which does not include NDMA.

Besides Zantac 360, patients may also find drugs, such as cimetidine (Tagamet) as an acceptable substitute.

Ranitidine is linked to several gastrointestinal cancers, with most of the evidence pointing to cancer of the colon and rectum, or colorectal cancer.

The drug plays a part in the development of cancers affecting the stomach, liver, kidney, bladder, testes, esophagus, lungs, and nasal passages.

How Zantac Works and What It Treats

Ranitidine, or the brand Zantac, falls under a class of medicines called H2RAs. H2RAs are drugs that reduce acid secretion in the stomach. Besides heartburn symptoms or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zantac has been taken for relief of the following conditions:

  • Stomach ulcers or duodenal ulcers (which develop in the first section of the small intestine)
  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Stomach upset or morning sickness in pregnant women

Often Zantac patients used the medicine to treat GERD. This condition often happens because the valve between the esophagus and stomach has weakened. This causes stomach acid to back up and wash over the esophagus, which can lead to tissue damage.

To reduce problems with GERD, patients often find success in losing weight, quitting smoking, cutting down on alcohol, or reducing stress. Therefore, lifestyle changes and the use of treatments, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), antacids, or Zantac substitutes can be used to alleviate symptoms and cure the disease.

Cancers Usually Named in Zantac Lawsuits

Zantac lawsuits usually cover cancers of the stomach, esophagus, bladder, liver, pancreas, and colorectal area. However, other cancers, such as testicular cancer or lung cancer, may still be included.

Primary Zantac Cancers and Their Warning Signs

If you are worried about your health because of your former use of Zantac, you need to learn more about the warning signs of Zantac-related cancers. Below is an overview of some of the primary Zantac cancers and their symptoms.

Stomach Cancer

Stomach cancer is a serious and life-threatening disease. The symptoms of stomach cancer can be very vague and easily mistaken for other conditions. That’s why it’s so important to see a doctor if you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in your stool

If you or someone you love has been taking Zantac and experiences any of these symptoms, you should seek medical care and advice.

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is one of the few cancers that is on the rise in the United States. The disease, like stomach cancer, is difficult to detect early, so by the time it is diagnosed, it is often at an advanced stage.

Liver cancer is hard to detect on a physical exam because the organ is covered by the rib cage. By the time the tumor is discovered, it can be quite large.

Besides the use of Zantac, doctors list several risk factors associated with the condition, including chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus, cirrhosis (damage to the liver from other causes), and excessive alcohol consumption. Obesity has also been linked to an increased risk of the cancer.

Again, there are usually no symptoms of liver cancer in its early stages. When symptoms do develop, they may include weight loss, fatigue, pain in the abdomen or side, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice), itching, and easy bruising.

If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor so that other conditions can be ruled out and proper treatment started.

Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is one of the most common cancers in adults. It is also one of the most deadly, with a five-year survival rate of only about 10%. Kidney cancer usually affects middle-aged or older adults. Men are twice as likely as women to develop this type of cancer.

Most kidney cancers are renal cell carcinomas, which start in the lining of the small tubes in the kidney that filter blood and remove waste products. Other types of kidney cancer include transitional cell carcinomas, sarcomas, and lymphomas.

Symptoms of kidney cancer include blood in the urine, pain in the side or back, weight loss, and fatigue. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, there may be additional symptoms such as pain elsewhere in the body, nausea, and vomiting.

Treatment for kidney cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer may present itself in the following ways:

  • Abdominal and back pain
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Light-colored stools
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the yes or skin)
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Atopic dermatitis (itchy skin)
  • Diabetic complications or a diabetes diagnosis
  • Clotting of the blood

Depending on its stage, pancreatic cancer is treated in one of several ways, including chemotherapy, radiation, surgery (to remove tumors), ablation or embolization, or targeted therapy.

See a doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of the above health problems.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the bladder. The bladder, which sits in the lower abdomen, is used for storing urine. Bladder cancer is frequently found in men over the age of 40.

Symptoms of bladder cancer include:

  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Frequent urination
  • Urinary urgency or frequency (feeling the need to urinate more often than usual)
  • Painful urination
  • Pelvic pain or pain in the lower abdomen

Immediately consult with a doctor if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer behind lung cancer. Each year, there are more than 140,000 new cases of colorectal cancer and more than 50,000 deaths from the disease.

There are a number of risk factors for colorectal cancer, including age, family history, personal history of certain other cancers, inflammatory bowel disease, and lifestyle factors such as diet and smoking. Obesity is also a risk factor for colorectal cancer. These factors, as well as taking Zantac, can increase your risk.

Symptoms of colorectal cancer can include bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits (such as diarrhea or constipation), abdominal pain or cramping, and fatigue.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor right away so that any potential problems can be ruled out. If you have been taking Zantac regularly for an extended period, it’s important to talk to your doctor about your risks.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer is a type of cancer that affects the esophagus – the long, narrow tube that connects your throat to your stomach. When you swallow food or drink, it moves through your esophagus and into your stomach.

Esophageal cancer can occur in any part of the esophagus, but it most commonly starts in the cells lining the lower part of the passage. Esophageal cancer is more common in men than women and is most often diagnosed in people over age 55.

Symptoms of esophageal cancer include:

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Weight loss without trying
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Heartburn or indigestion that doesn’t go away
  • Hoarseness or cough

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor so that he or she can determine the cause. Esophageal cancer is usually diagnosed with one or more of the following tests:

  1. Upper endoscopy: A thin, flexible tube with a light and camera attached is inserted through the mouth and down the throat to examine the inside of the esophagus for abnormal tissue.
  2. Biopsy: During an upper endoscopy, small samples of tissue may be collected from suspicious areas for laboratory testing.
  3. Endoscopic ultrasound: This test uses sound waves to create a detailed image of the layers of tissue in the wall of the esophagus.

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for more than 155,000 deaths each year. Though the majority of lung cancers are caused by tobacco smoking, there are a number of other risk factors including exposure to secondhand smoke, asbestos, air pollution, radiation, or exposure to NDMA.

Lung cancer symptoms can include coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain, and weight loss. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor right away as early detection is key to a successful treatment.

Nasal Cancer

Nasal cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the nose. The nose is the organ responsible for filtering air, and it is made up of three main parts: the nasal cavity, which is the space behind the nose; the sinuses, which are small, air-filled spaces inside the bones around the nose; and the nostrils, which are the openings at the end of the nose.

Nasal cancer can occur in any of these three areas, but it most commonly starts in the nasal cavity. Symptoms of nasal cancer include a persistent stuffy nose, a bloody nose, a change in voice, and difficulty breathing through the nose.

Again, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor without delay so that your condition can be properly diagnosed and treated.

Testicular Cancer

Cancer of the testicles is often difficult to diagnose and therefore is frequently discovered in the later stages. Symptoms may include:

  • A swelling or lump in a testicle
  • A heavy feeling or swelling  in or of the scrotum
  • A dull groin ache
  • Pain in a testicle or the scrotum*
  • Breast tissue tenderness or pain
  • Back pain

One of the first signs of cancer is a swollen testicle or a lump on the testicle. It’s normal for one of the testicles to be slightly larger or for one to hang lower. *While testicular tumors may cause some pain, most of the time they don’t cause any discomfort.

Testicular cancer occurs the most often in Caucasian males, 30 to 34 years old. If a woman takes Zantac during her pregnancy, her boy infant or toddler may develop the cancer as well.

Contact a Zantac Settlement Lawyer Now

Did you take Zantac for GERD or a similar ailment but was diagnosed with cancer? If so, you need to speak to a Zantac settlement lawyer as soon as possible. In Illinois, you only have two years to file a claim from the time you were diagnosed with cancer. So, speak to a lawyer about your case.

Even if you don’t have cancer, but took Zantac, you may still be able to file a class action lawsuit. To arrange a consultation, call Malman Law at 1-888-997-7599 today.

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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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.

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