Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms and Signs

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

Comment from: Texmar63, 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 06

My sister who is 68 was diagnosed last April with esophageal cancer. Her symptoms started as shortness of breath and feeling like something was stuck in her throat. She was always a smoker but after having bypass surgery about 6 years ago, she tried to quit and then was using the e-cigarettes when she was diagnosed. She started chemotherapy last May and continued till about November. She couldn't do radiation because the doctor said it would affect the bypass grafts. She became so sick from chemotherapy that he decided to stop it right after Thanksgiving. She is still very weak and was admitted to hospital this last weekend because of fluid in her lungs causing one lung to nearly collapse. She now has to have oxygen to help her breathe. This is a horrible disease and just keep hoping for a miracle to cure her.

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Comment from: dualdisk, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

I was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer in June of 2008, had surgery in July, then radiation and chemotherapy. It's now January of 2014 and I was discharged from my oncologist in November of 2013. I was told by my oncologist I had a 15% survival rate the first year. So for everyone who has this horrible disease there is hope. Cancer research has come a long way. Just another thought, a friend of mine was diagnosed with the same cancer and 2 years later the cancer returned. He started chemotherapy again and was told he only had 6 months to live, well it's been a year and he is still with us. So the doctors don't always know what they are talking about.

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Comment from: Holli, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 08

My husband had a terrible history of heartburn and acid reflux. He self medicated with over-the-counter pills and liquids for a number of years. He noticed he started losing weight and was pleased, as he was a little overweight. The weight came off slowly at first, but then he was unable to swallow and felt like food was getting stuck and he needed to belch. After waiting a month to see the family doctor, then another month for GI doctor, he had the esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and biopsy. It turns out those were symptoms of esophageal cancer. He did traditional chemotherapy/radiation and it spread to his spine. He is now in clinical trials after his oncologist provided a 6-month to two-year survival rate. He is 45 years old and otherwise healthy. We are hopeful now, which is more than we had last year. My strong advice to anyone is this: get a second opinion and push for the resection if it is possible.

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Comment from: Terry L., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I was diagnosed 11/10 with stage 0 esophageal cancer. I had food stick in my chest one time. Called doctor he set me up to have a scope done. When he seen it he thought it was just a little inflamed but biopsied it a it was cancer. He got me set up with a surgeon. Had surgery 01/27/2011. Could not eat for 4 months after because of nausea all the time. Got over that have done good for 2 and a half years doing CT scans every 3 months then six months but I had nodules on a lymph node for that period of time the surgeon was watching now it got a little bigger had it biopsied it was esophageal cancer. Now I am going to start chemo and radiation next week. I find out tomorrow about my pet scan I had done Friday to see if it has spread anywhere else. If not he said he can treat to cure, if not it will be just treatments. Praying for the cure have a 16 year old daughter that depends on me and a wife of 27 years.

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Comment from: lin, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: March 19

My husband aged 54 was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December and passed away in March. When diagnosed he had a pain in his left side when he was lying down at night and nothing else. Then lymph nodes in his neck became enlarged. An endoscopy and scan showed the cancer had spread to his lymph nodes in his neck and in his chest. Chemo started immediately, a 21 day cycle, from 8.30 to 4.30 on day one and then a course of tablets, 12 in all, to take for the 21 days. After 3 courses a scan showed that although the chemo was shrinking the tumor the cancer itself was causing blood clots and one had gone to his lung. He then started injecting himself in the stomach every evening, which was a 6 month course, then just before his 4th cycle of chemo he developed another blood clot in his liver. The doctors just couldn't get on top of the clots and eventually one went to his heart and killed him suddenly. We were not aware that blood clots can be caused by cancer or chemo.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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 - 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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