Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Types

Do you or someone you know have adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus? Please share your story.

Comment from: Trish4124, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 11

My husband coughed a lot and would tell me it was his sinuses. He went to the doctor and they told him to take antihistamines. He had a chest x-ray that showed his lungs were clear. When the Zyrtec didn't work, he went back to the doctor. Doctor said he probably had acid reflux and gave him Prilosec. The coughing spells got worse. I eventually realized he coughed and choked the most after the evening meal. The endoscopy showed a tumor so large in his esophagus that the doctor could not get the scope past it. There were no other symptoms of adenocarcinoma. He had radiation and chemotherapy and a second endoscopy was negative. However, before doing surgery, they did another PET scan that showed metastasis into his bones. He was diagnosed in January 2013 and died of a blood clot to his brain stem in June 2013. So heavy coughing especially after eating is a symptom that needs to be checked.

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Comment from: Fins76, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 09

My father, who is 64, was diagnosed with stage 3 adenocarcinoma in July 2014. He immediately started chemotherapy and fortunately he hasn't had too many bad side effects from the chemotherapy and has continued working. After about 7 weeks of treatment, he had another PET scan and doctor has declared him cancer free but he still has to undergo surgery next month to remove the tumors at the bottom of the esophagus. Doctors are planning to remove the majority of his esophagus and re-shape his stomach to look like a sausage. Light chemotherapy to resume after the surgery. Doctors initially gave him a 50/50 chance. So far everything is looking good. He has maintained a positive attitude throughout this whole process which has helped our whole family to remain optimistic as we hope he makes a full recovery.

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Comment from: Amal, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 02

I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the esophagus in January 2013. Doctor tried to operate but was not successful as it had spread more than what the scans and other reports indicated. Thereafter I had chemotherapy for one full year which was terrible. I was more dead than alive. In January this year 2014, I underwent more tests, PET scan and endoscopy, however the doctor was not convinced that the operation would be a success. From January of 2014 to date I decided that I will not take any form of medication simply to extend life at the expense of quality of life. I have pain in my stomach but have managed that pain and fatigue with no pain killers and still work a 5 and a half day week for 8 hours a day. I am exhausted when I reach home and rest a bit but back on my feet. To my fellow patients all that I can say is that one needs to be mentally strong to beat this and while you are alive, concentrate on living and not worry about dying and the suffering.

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Comment from: Mother, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 11

My 24 year old son passed away with cancer of the esophagus, could the new drug ZL105 have cured this cancer? He had been going to the doctors and hospital on many occasions with symptoms of heartburn and finding it difficult to eat food and constant pain in his back, but he was always told this was indigestion. My son was eventually given a scan and was told he was at stage 4. He passed away 7 weeks and 2 days later.

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Comment from: Christabella, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 14

My youngest brother had Barrett"s disease for years and had trouble swallowing. Local general physician said it was nothing but it continued. In May 2011 he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He had chemotherapy and then the huge operation in September. He had a few difficult months when they realized the exit from his stomach was up too high and couldn"t drain the contents properly. There was talk of his having another huge operation to fix that, but cancer came back and he died in November, 2012 not long after his 58th birthday. He was not a smoker and didn"t drink much.

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Comment from: pjklew, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 08

My husband was diagnosed on June 12, 2013 with stage IV adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. He had a 3-1/2 inch tumor at the bottom of the esophagus. It was a total shock as he was being treated for acid reflux. After six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, the chemotherapy almost killed him, it has spread to the lymph nodes around the heart and aorta. It is also in the abdominal area and colon. We have decided that enough is enough! The side effects of the infusion chemotherapy and the six weeks of radiation were horrible. He is on hospice and is slowly gaining weight due to a feeding tube. We are going to enjoy and cherish the time we have left. We have been married 32 years and have no children, but we are thankful for awesome friends. Please get a second opinion and ask for ALL the side effects.

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Patient Comments

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Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms and Signs Question: What were the symptoms and signs you experienced with esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis and Stage Question: What is your esophageal cancer prognosis? What stage is your esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Risk Factors Question: Do you have any of the risk factors for esophageal cancer? What are they, and what are your concerns?
Esophageal Cancer - Diagnosis Question: What kinds of tests and exams led to a diagnosis of esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment, including radiation or chemotherapy, did you receive for esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Surgery Question: Please describe the surgical experience you or someone you know had for esophageal cancer.
Esophageal Cancer - Doctors & Second Opinion Question: How did you go about getting a second opinion for your esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis & Follow-Up Care Question: What type of follow-up care did you receive for your esophageal cancer?

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