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: Diane clay, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 25

My dad was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer the Easter of 2013. He had delayed seeing a doctor for almost 11 months as he was so afraid. His first symptoms were pain on swallowing, firstly bread and food getting stuck, then meat would get stuck, and then it turned to all food by the time we got him to hospital. He couldn't swallow his own saliva and had lost four stone in weight. I knew my dad had cancer and short of physically dragging him to a doctor I had tried everything to get him seen. At first they thought they could operate and dad had three cycles of chemotherapy, but first in hospital and tube fed for three weeks. He had a stent put in so he could eat soft food. In September they went in to operate but had seen that the tumor had spread rapidly attached to lung, diaphragm and wrapped round aorta and grown over top of first stent. We were told dad had a few months, then his oncologist offered a different type of chemotherapy to hold the tumor and prolong his life. While he was taking this chemotherapy they discovered dad's tumor was a HER2 tumor and Herceptin, a drug mainly for breast cancer would block the cancer. We were told National Health Service wouldn't fund Herceptin so we were looking into paying for it privately when my dad collapsed and passed away at home. That was exactly a year after his diagnosis. We didn't have a post mortem done. My dad was such a character, a kind heart, he made me laugh so much and I'll never get over losing him. I just wished he would have gone sooner but I can understand how bad his fear was. Esophageal cancer is an evil disease.

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Comment from: Bill, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 12

I was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer of the esophagus in January 2014. I was lucky as the cancer was in situ and had not spread to other areas. Initially I was put on a neo-SCOPE trial which involved firstly chemotherapy then chemotherapy and radiation therapy. It was very hard and I felt very ill at times. However I knew the cancer was shrinking as I was able to eat again. I underwent major surgery in July which was successful. I am still having pain after eating and have now been prescribed Creon tablets which have helped with the pain but unfortunately have not cured it altogether.

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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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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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