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Radiation, Reflux, LES / Long-term Effect

Posts: 7
Joined: Feb 2008

Hello everyone:

me: 1988 Nodular sclerosing HL Stage 2. Treated with RT to jaw, neck, chest, abdomen over the course of 3 months.


Around 1998 I became aware of acid-reflux issues primarily in the evening if I ate too late.

Past 5-7 years it has worsened. I don't experience the searing pain of acid in my esophagus per se, but I do have reflux all day regardless of whether I have caffeine/alcohol or not.

I had an upper-endoscopy, and esophagram, barium swallow. The esophagram showed the reflux but otherwise all muscle function was normal (for swallowing).

My diet isn't the culprit. I take generic prilosec. I can feel fluids moving from my stomach into my esphogus -- even after drinking water. So I think my LES (lower esophageal sphincter) isn't working/closing as it once did.

Has anyone else with RT to the neck chest experienced long-term reflux after treatment?

Is there a connection between the RT and a weakened LES (lower esophageal sphincter)?

Any knowledge about this would be appreciated.


po18guy's picture
Posts: 1223
Joined: Nov 2011

Barrett's esophagus. Never had cancer or radiation. This is a condition that developed and advanced over time. It is a pre-cancerous change in the cellular structure of the esophagus due to the constant exposure to acid. I would ask doctor about that. To cure it, she underwent a Nissen Fundoplication. I developed reflux, but only after 20 anti-neoplastic drugs, 2 gray of total body irradiation, and a stem cell transplant. That low level of radiation was very unlikely to lead to reflux - there were many other issues that contributed.

Posts: 3
Joined: Jan 2003

me: 1993  HL Stage 2B. Treated with RT to jaw, neck, chest, abdomen over the course of 4 months.

I have been on Prilosec for years due to the acid-reflux issues.  Not until recently have I learned that it is a result of the RT.

Diagnosed with Breast Cancer caused by the RT in 2019.

Now I am experiencing shortness of breath due to the RT damage to my lungs, pulmonary fibrosis is what they are saying.  I am trying to learn as much as I can about this because I am freaking out.  Currently I am on oxygen at night.  I know the damage cannot be reversed but does anyone know anything about trying to slow the progression down?


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