Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms and Signs

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

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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Comment from: Gemma, 45-54 Female (Caregiver) Published: April 22

My mother just got diagnosed with this form of cancer. She is 54 years old, first of all she started loosing a lot of weight and had problems swallowing heavy foods such as meat and potatoes, but gradually over 2 weeks it got worse and she now can't swallow at all and has problems drinking fluids, she also had this really loud cough. I took her to emergencies last week and she has been kept in now until surgery.

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Comment from: Jan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I was 38 when I had this cancer I had chemo, radio, and surgery. I am 46 now and have a few problems with food and asthma it took me about three years to get where I am now. I do have tylosis and so does my sister and mother, but fortunately they are fine I have a daughter who is 14 and luckily her feet are fine so there is a good chance of not having the gene. When I first found out there was a problem it was because my food was sticking in my throat fortunately. I had a good doctor who sent me straight away for some tests.

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Comment from: Roselyn, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I am a 78 year old women and I've had gastritis for about twenty years. I'm allergic to statin drugs. Recently when I take a deep breath I get a pain in my chest in the area of my stomach I'm taking Prilosec every morning ad 150mg Zantac at night. I'm worried about this new pain. Please advise me as what this might be?

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Comment from: Wendy, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: December 17

My 60 year old mother passed away from esophageal adenocarcinoma last year. She began to have flu-like symptoms, and then started losing weight. She then started having pain in her side accompanied by high fevers. She had a cat scan and then a barium swallow, upon which was found she had stage IV esophageal adenocarcinoma. She died 3 weeks later.

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Comment from: Bob, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: December 17

My husband (age 50 at the time) was diagnosed 2 years ago. Had chemo-radiation followed by esophagectomy, then more chemo. His main symptom was difficulty swallowing-feeling like something was sticking in his lower esophagus. He has had reflux for 30 years; treated for 20 years with Rx. anti-reflux meds. We are now walking 6-7 miles per day, full-time work, and writing a book! Oh, what a diagnosis can do. He is exercising more faithfully than ever, eating better than ever, and praying more than ever! We have a lot to live for-3 kids: ages 13, 7, 7 (twins) And, I mean we...because it is a WE effort.

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Patient Comments

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Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis and Stage Question: What is your esophageal cancer prognosis? What stage is your esophageal cancer?
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 - 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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