Antacid Medicines Improve Overall Survival in Head and Neck Cancer

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According to a new study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have found that patients with head and neck cancer who used antacids, like proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists, to treat heart burn and indigestion had better overall survival rates compared with those who did not use them.

For the study, researchers analyzed data of 596 patients treated for head and neck cancer. Of those, more than two-thirds took histamine 2 receptor antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, or both.

Results showed that among those that took proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, esomeprazole, and pantoprazole, had a 45% decreased mortality risk compared with those who did not take the medications.

Patients who took histamine 2 receptor antagonists, which include cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine, had a 33% decreased mortality risk compared with those did not take the antacids.

Patients with head and neck cancer who are treated with chemotherapy and radiation often experience reflux, leading to wide use of antacids as a treatment for the adverse effect; however, the findings suggest that antacids like proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 blockers also have a positive impact on overall survival.

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Antacids had better overall survival rates compared with those who did not use them.
Patients with head and neck cancer who used antacid medicines to control acid reflux had better overall survival, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center. Doctors at the University of Michigan frequently prescribe two types of antacids - proton pump inhibitors or histamine 2 blockers - to help treat this side effect.
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