The incidence of gastric adenocarcinoma is falling, while esophageal adenocarcinoma is increasing.
This has been attributed to an increasing prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly treated empirically in primary care with antisecretory drugs.
GERD treatment has been associated with delayed diagnosis of esophageal adenocarcinoma, but it is unclear if this influences prognosis.
|Use of antisecretory drugs delayed diagnosis by a mean of 17.6 weeks.|
|Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics|
In this study, physicians from England evaluated the effect of antisecretory drugs on time to diagnosis, symptoms, tumor stage and outcome.
The team performed a retrospective cohort study of 747 patients diagnosed with upper gastrointestinal adenocarcinoma at South Tees NHS Trust between 1991 and 2001.
The physicians found that the mean time from the onset of symptoms to diagnosis was 30 weeks.
The team found that patients with benign symptoms prescribed antisecretory drugs were referred later than those not on antisecretory drugs.
They determined that prior use of antisecretory drugs delayed diagnosis by a mean of 17.6 weeks, but this delay had no effect on tumor stage at diagnosis or survival.
Dr Panter and colleagues concluded, "Prior antisecretory drug therapy was associated with delayed diagnosis of upper GI adenocarcinoma irrespective of presenting symptoms".
"Concerns that delays might adversely affect tumor stage or long-term survival were not substantiated".