Side Effects of Zantac NDMA Contamination

Zantac (ranitidine) was one of the most widely used heartburn and acid reflux medications on the market, which was used for years by millions of Americans. However, it now appears that an unintended side effect may include exposure to a cancer-causing chemical byproduct that is produced when the medication is stored at high temperatures or as it passes through the body.

Long-term exposure to NDMA in Zantac has been linked to an increased risk of:

  • Prostate Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Lung Cancer

As a result of the drug makers’ failure to warn about the Zantac cancer side effects, lawsuits are being pursued by our lawyers. To find out whether you or a loved one may be entitled to a financial settlement, request a free consultation and case evaluation.

Do You or a Loved One Have Cancer from Zantac?

Zantac NDMA Risks

In late 2019, an independent pharmacy discovered that nearly all versions of Zantac and generic ranitidine in it’s inventory contained extremely high levels of NDMA. It was determined that ranitidine is inherently unstable and can convert to high levels of the chemical byproduct, which is known to increase the risk of various cancers.

Since federal regulators were unable to make Zantac safe or avoid the risk of NDMA developing during storage and transport, the FDA required widespread Zantac recalls in early 2020. However, following years of exposure to the chemical in Zantac, former users may face an increased risk of cancer that could extend for years.

As researchers continue to study the link between exposure to Zantac and cancer, legal claims are being investigated for several types of cancer that may have been caused by exposure to NDMA produced by ranitidine:

Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is a form of cancer that typically affects older men, as only men have prostate glands. However, a number of cases of prostate cancer may be linked to Zantac among individuals diagnosed under the age of 70.

Most forms of prostate cancer are adenocarcinomas, which means they develop from the gland cells. It is second only to skin cancer as the most common cancer found among men, with about 250,000 new cases per year, and more than 34,000 deaths annually. In most cases, prostate cancer develops slowly, and some men die of old age before even being aware they have it. However, there are cases where it spreads and grows much more rapidly.

There are numerous prostate cancer treatments, ranging from surgery, radiation therapy, cryotherapy and chemotherapy. While it is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men, second only to lung cancer, most men diagnosed with prostate cancer survive.

Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic Cancer starts in the pancreas but can quickly spread to other parts of the body. There are two types of pancreatic cancer, including the most common forms, pancreatic adenocarcinomas, and the rarer pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.

The American Cancer Society estimates there are more than 60,000 newly diagnosed cases each year, and more than 48,000 deaths in the U.S. Survivability is closely tied with how far the cancer has spread by the time it is diagnosed. Five-year survival rates start at a fairly low 37% even when the cancer is still localized to the pancreas. It drops steeply from there, with all stages combined having an overall survivability of only 9%.

Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. The patients’ age, health, and the stage of the cancer has a significant effect on which treatment option is chosen.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal Cancer begins in cells lining the esophagus, which can spread to other areas of the body. The two main types of esophageal cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, and adenocarcinoma.

Every year about 20,000 Americans are diagnosed with esophageal cancer, with most cases occurring in men. About 15,000 Americans die each year from the disease. After years of rates being stable, those numbers have been on the decline in recent years. The overall five-year survival rate is about 20%.

Surgery, radiation therapy and endoscopic treatments are most common for esophageal cancer which has not spread to other parts of the body. More systemic treatments, such as chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy are often employed in cases where esophageal cancer has become more advanced.

Gastric/Stomach Cancer

Stomach Cancer or Gastric Cancer starts in the inner lining of the stomach and typically grows slowly. It is preceded by changes in the mucosa of the stomach, which are hard to detect, but, if they are found, can greatly increase the success of treatment and patient survivability. There are several types of stomach cancer, including adenocarcinoma, which is the most common, as well as lymphomas, gastrointestinal stromal tumor and carcinoid tumor.

More than 26,000 cases of stomach cancer are likely to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, and an estimated 11,000 Americans will die from the disease in 2021. It mostly impacts the elderly, with about 60% being over the age of 65. The rates of stomach cancer diagnosis have declined over the last decade.

The overall five-year survival rate for stomach cancer is 70%. The primary treatments are surgery, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy.

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is one of the most notorious types of cancer, primarily affecting women and taking many different forms based on the causes, and the parts of the breast where it develops. The common types include ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive carcinoma. In many cases, there are no symptoms until later stages, making screening, such as mammograms, very important.

One out of every eight women will develop invasive breast cancer at some point in her life. Last year there were more than a quarter million breast cancer diagnoses in the U.S., and more than 40,000 breast cancer deaths are believed to have occurred. Breast cancer is only second to lung cancer when it comes to the number of cancer deaths which occur among U.S. women each year.

Numerous advances in treatment have led to a five-year survival rate of 90% for breast cancer. Surgery and radiation are the most common treatments, with systemic treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy are employed when the cancer is believed to have spread to other parts of the body.

Liver Cancer

Liver Cancer can start in the liver, or in other parts of the body which help the liver function. Those cancers which start directly in the liver are known as primary liver cancers, and the most common form of primary liver cancer is known as hepatocellular carcinoma, which can start as a single tumor in the liver, or as a number of small cancer nodules; which is the most common version and often associated with cirrhosis of the liver caused by heavy alcohol use and other causes.

However, secondary liver cancer, which starts elsewhere in the body and spreads to the liver, is the most common form of liver cancer in the U.S. and Europe. Overall, there are about 42,000 new cases of liver cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year. More than 30,000 people in the U.S. die of liver cancer every year. Unlike other cancers, which have been on the decline in recent years, liver cancer rates have more than tripled since 1980 and the rate of deaths have more than doubled over the same time period.

Liver cancer survival rates can vary significantly depending on how far the cancer has spread. Those diagnosed at early states and who undergo a liver transplant have a five-year survival rate of 60% to 70%. Given the wide variety of liver cancers, there are a number of treatments, including surgery, ablation, embolization therapy, plus the more traditional radiation therapy, targeted drug therapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer begins in the bladder, and the vast majority of cases are diagnosed as urothelial carcinoma, which starts with cells lining the inside of the bladder or other parts of the urinary tract. It is often accompanied by tumors in the same locations.

More than 83,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year, and are linked to about 17.000 deaths. It occurs mainly in those over the age of 55, with an average diagnosis age of 73.

Fortunately, five-year survival rates for bladder cancer are fairly high, with an overall survival rate of 77%. Treatment options include bladder cancer surgery, intravesical therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy and targeted therapy drugs.

Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer is a cancer which attacks the colon and rectum, which together make up the large intestines. Some people refer to them as separate cancers, such as colon cancer or rectal cancer, but others refer to them as colorectal cancer due to their similarities.

Doctors estimate the U.S. will see nearly 105,000 new cases of colon cancer this year, as well as more than 45,000 cases of rectal cancer. The two cancers together are expected to claim nearly 53,000 lives in the U.S. this year, making colorectal cancer the second leading cause of cancer deaths regardless of gender.

However, the death rate has been dropping steadily for decades as screening and awareness have increased, and as treatments have improved. Those treatments include surgery, ablation and embolization, and radiation therapy, if caught early. If the cancers have spread, treatments are more likely to include chemotherapy, targeted therapy and immunotherapy. Overall survival rates for colorectal cancer are in the mid 60 percentiles.

Kidney Cancer

Kidney Cancer develops in the kidneys, usually as a single tumor, and can destroy kidney function, often resulting in the need for dialysis in order for the blood to continue to be properly filtered. About 90% of kidney cancers are classified as renal cell carcinoma (RCC), and the most common type of RCC is clear cell renal cell carcinoma.

Other types of kidney cancers, much rarer, include transitional cell carcinoma, also known as urothelial carcinomas, which do not start in the kidneys, but spread there from other parts of the body. This type of kidney cancer is often linked to exposure to cancer-causing chemicals or smoking.

There are about 76,000 new kidney cancer cases diagnosed in the U.S. every year, with twice as many men affected as women. Nearly 14,000 people in the U.S. die every year from kidney cancer. Unlike most cancers, rates of kidney cancer have been on the rise, though that seems to have leveled off in the last few years.

Overall five-year survival rates for kidney cancer are about 75%. Surgery, ablation, active surveillance and radiation therapy are the most common treatments, though targeted therapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy are employed to treat more advanced stages.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer generally starts in the cells of the bronchi, bronchioles or alveoli. It is the second most common cancer among men and women. Lung cancer is divided into two main types: non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC), which are treated very differently. NSCLC is the most common type, with SCLC comprising only about 10% to 15%.

SCLC is the most dangerous, with about 70% of cases having already spread to other parts of the body by the time it is diagnosed, and most requiring treatment with radiation or chemotherapy, and even then, it is likely to return.

More than 235,000 cases of lung cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year, spread fairly evenly between men and women. This year, it is expected that about 132,000 people in the U.S. will die from lung cancer. Overall, the five-year survival rate for NSCLC is about 24%, with a significantly higher rate if the cancer is caught early; higher than 60%. However, the SCLC survival rates are dismal, at only 6% overall, with just 27% survival if caught in its earliest stages.

A wide range of treatments are used, including surgery, radiofrequency ablation, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, immunotherapy, and, unfortunately, palliative procedures are often used to make patients who have no hope of recovery comfortable in their final days.

Zantac Cancer Lawyers

The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are pursuing claims nationwide for individuals who were diagnosed with cancer following long-term Zantac use.

It appears manufacturers knew for years that Zantac carried a risk of NDMA contamination, and thus increased risks of cancer, but instead failed to properly warn health care professionals, federal drug regulators or patients about those risks.

To find out if you, a loved one, or family member may be entitled to financial compensation for cancer caused by Zantac side effects, request a free consultation and claim evaluation. All claims are handled by our Zantac recall lawyers on a contingency fee basis; meaning there are no out-of-pocket expenses and no fees unless a recovery is obtained.

REVIEW A ZANTAC EXPOSURE CASE No Fees or Expenses Unless a Recovery is Obtained.

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Saiontz & Kirk, PA, Attorneys & Lawyers, Baltimore, MD