Colorectal Cancer

If you’ve been diagnosed with colorectal cancer or another type of cancer after long periods of Zantac use, you may have heard that the heartburn drug has been linked to several different forms of cancer. The FDA recently recalled Zantac and all forms of ranitidine due to a possible cancer-causing chemical in the drug. You could have grounds for a colorectal cancer lawsuit against Zantac manufacturers.

California Man Sues Zantac Makers After Colon Cancer Diagnosis

In December 2019, a California man named Gary Hart filed a lawsuit against Zantac manufacturers Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi US, Pfizer, and GlaxoSmithKline.

In the complaint, Hart says that he started using prescription Zantac in 200 and took 300 mg daily through 2008. In May 2008, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Hart alleges that he developed his cancer due to Zantac’s active ingredient, ranitidine, which may contain high levels of NDMA, increasing the risk of several types of cancers in the digestive system.

According to the lawsuit, the drug manufacturers knew or should have known that Zantac was linked to cancer, but failed to notify consumers, doctors, and regulators of this information.

What Are the Symptoms of Colon Cancer?

In the early stages of colorectal cancer, symptoms may be minor or not present at all. In many cases, symptoms only develop after the cancer has reached stage II or later. This is why its important to have regular colonoscopies after age 50.

However, there are some early warning signs of colorectal cancer in some patients. Some of these warning signs include:

  • Sudden weight-loss
  • Narrow, ribbon-like stools
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Tenesmus – a feeling that you have to empty your bowels, but nothing happens
  • Persistent pain in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Anemia caused by iron deficiency

Local Symptoms

Some symptoms only affect the colon and/or rectum, including:

  • Abdominal bloating, cramps, or discomfort
  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation
  • Constipation
  • Feeling like the bowels don’t empty completely
  • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
  • Thinner stools than normal

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors

According to researchers, there are several risk factors that could increase your risk of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer:

  • Obesity and overweight
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Diets high in red meats
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Age (much more common after age 50)
  • Personal history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer
  • Personal history of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
  • Family history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps
  • Lynch syndrome
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis
  • Type 2 diabetes