Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms and Signs

What were the symptoms and signs you experienced with esophageal cancer?

Comment from: Janmitra, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 20

I started experiencing pain in the middle of my chest and at the backside of my body in October of 2007. In March of 2008, it was detected that I have esophageal cancer. This was detected in an endoscopy. Well, so far I am OK after chemotherapy and radiation therapy. I haven't needed an operation.

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Comment from: fmoreno68, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I started to feel a heartburn type of sensation right after swallowing food. It wasn't painful and it went away within a few minutes. It started about 4 weeks before I saw the doctor. He ordered the endoscopy right away and discovered the tumor at the junction of the stomach and the esophagus. Biopsy indicated the presence of "squamos cells".

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Comment from: dolphinluvr2405, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 08

My father and mother both had esophageal cancer. My father has passed, and my mother is getting ready to. The symptoms were very different for each one. My dad's symptoms started as heartburn, and my mom's got to where she could not eat. Both had chemotherapy, radiation and surgery to remove the esophagus, none of it did any good. My dad lived three and a half years; supposedly they found it early. They found Mom's at stage 4, one and a half years ago.

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Comment from: healinrain, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 17

My Mother recently was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. She had Her Gaul bladder taken out a week ago due to Gaul stones. She is a 72 year old who has been in general good health. Her BP is a little high. The oncologist suggested she have surgery. Her pet scan is scheduled for the 17th of this month. I will let you know how it goes. She is getting a second opinion due to pressure from myself and other family members.

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Comment from: Edward, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: May 27

If my brother hadn't been tired of heartburn, he may have never known he has esophageal cancer. He was recently diagnosed with stage 4 and I'm scared to my wits end for him and his family. Prayers are already in full-force and he starts chemotherapy immediately. God watch over him and his doctors.

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Comment from: Paul G, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 13

I am 65 next month and yesterday was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. My symptoms are that the first few mouthfuls of food would not past down the end of the esophagus into the stomach. This caused some pain, but drinking a small amount of fluid would help the food pass into the stomach. Some times I would then have severe hiccups. The doctors seem to think I have the early stages, but I have to undergo and endoscopic ultrasound, PET scan and lung function tests before the care team decide on my treatment. I am seriously concerned, but am being positive.

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Comment from: Sister, 55-64 Female Published: May 13

My 56 year old brother was diagnosed with esophageal cancer February. He went through chemo and radiation and in September he had his esophagus removed plus numerous lymph nodes. In November he started chemo again by the 2nd round though he had a nervous breakdown and basically lost his mind for almost 3 months (he doesn't remember anything). The doctor's still aren't sure what caused that, either his disposition or the chemo, but he appears to be better, he still has some trouble sleeping, but is on tranquilizers and antidepressants. The only issue is that he has gotten really mean and hateful. Has anyone heard of this? He is going to therapy, but I don't believe he is all that honest with his therapist.

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Comment from: Mickey, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

My symptoms with esophageal cancer were: I was very sick in stomach, burning in chest and throat, pain in ribs so bad would hold my ribs in with hands. I felt like my ribs were being pushed out, my cancer was found at the z line of the stomach at an early stage on the wall, not through the wall. I didn't have any trouble with swallowing like is usually stated. My gastrologist was very surprised at the prognosis because he saw no cancer, but the biopsy showed it. I knew I had something bad because of how terrible I felt. Go to a hospital that does this surgery often. I had a good surgeon. My surgery was in September and it takes time to heal. I still have problems, but it's a long process, but better then the alternative.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis Question: What is your esophageal cancer prognosis?
Esophageal Cancer - Types Question: Do you or someone you know have adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus? Please share your story.
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 - Second Opinion Question: How did you go about getting a second opinion for your esophageal cancer?
Esophageal Cancer - Follow-Up Care Question: What type of follow-up care did you receive for your esophageal cancer?

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