Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis and Stage

What is your esophageal cancer prognosis? What stage is your esophageal cancer?

Comment from: mae, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 16

My husband was told on 2/22/12 that he had esophageal cancer and would need to have radation and chemotherapy done. They put his Port in and he started his treatments. He had these for 8 weeks and he asked his doctor when he would be having the surgery. His doctor told him that all of his doctors had to get together and discuss it and for him to go see his radation doctor and they would get in touch with him. Two days later my husband went to the ER because he hadn't had a bowel movement in 2 weeks. My daughter and I took him 3 times before the hospital finally put him in. They ran tests on him and discovered that my husband's tumor had grown and that he had more masses. My husband was told he had 2-3 months to live and they put him in hospice care. My husband passed away on 5-1-12. I asked his doctors how this happened and why they didn't see that the treatments were not working. They could only say they don't know. What really hurts is, my husband had always said he wouldn't take treatments if he was told he had cancer. He did this for his family. Our daughter was expecting and he so wanted to meet his granddaughter. He never got a chance to meet her. I just hate that he had to go through the treatments that made him so sick after each one. He not only had the treatments at the cancer center, he had chemotherapy 24/7.

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Comment from: Poulsbo patient, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 14

My husband, age 63, was diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal and stomach cancer in September 2012. His initial symptom was a change in his voice. He thought he was getting a cold. His primary care doctor found all blood work normal and referred him for endoscopy and that's how the cancer was found. He's had no major symptoms with 6 of weeks chemotherapy and radiation. He drank tablespoons of aloe vera juice before naps and bedtime, which greatly helped. He's been given blender drinks with Boost and vegetable juicing for nutrition, no tube feeding. His scan in January 2013 shows he is cancer free and may not need surgery.

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Comment from: Lori, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 01

My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer. His tumor is at the junction between the esophagus and stomach. Because the cancer had already spread to the liver, surgery to remove the tumor could not be done. Instead, a stent was placed at the junction making eating and swallowing easy. Unfortunately, now he has no sphincter to control acid reflux. He is on medication (dexilant and carafate), and we have followed the advice for people suffering with heartburn. However, since he has no sphincter to stop the acid, he suffers whether he eats or not.

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Comment from: mike, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 17

I am 63 years old and in June 2012 was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. A tumor was discovered in the lower esphagus and after tests it was determined that the cancer was squamous cell but the tumor was not in a typical location for squamous cell cancer. I elected to undergo surgery on July 2 2012. Most of my esphagus and about 1/3 of my stomach was removed. The pathology report indicated that all cancer has been removed including margins and lymph nodes. I had no major symptoms before surgery and cancer was diagnosed after I had an upper scoping for acid reflux and atypical cells were noted. I am fortunate it was caught early.

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Comment from: Tim, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 17

I didn't have the normal symptoms at first. I had a cough I couldn't get rid of and then food started getting stuck. I had had an endoscopy the year before for A Gall Bladder removal that didn't show anything. In September, 2010, they found a 1.5 CM tumor at the base of the esophagus, stage 3 cancer. The doctors didn't waste any time. I underwent 18 radiation treatments and two weeks of intense chemotherapy. I had lost 60 lbs and had to regain weight before surgery in January, 2011. I underwent three more chemotherapy treatments and have been cancer free since. I have another scan this month, but the prognosis is full recovery. There is hope.

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Comment from: susan, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 22

My husband diagnosed with Stage IIIA (upper left lung tumor wrapped around pulmonary artery so inoperable)June 2011 (went in thinking had pneumonia as daughter had weeks before ... x-ray made them question about TB, then got CT scan, then lung biopsy), given 6 - 9 months probable life span with no intervention. He began chemo and radiation in July, ended 2 rounds of chemo in Sept and radiation a few weeks later. Tumor was shrinking. Now (6/12) the tumor found to be growing again. Time for Chemo round 2 ... still inoperable. Any suggestions? Should we look at a 2nd opinion? P.S. Positive attitude, love, and laughter helps!

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Esophageal Cancer - Symptoms and Signs Question: What were the symptoms and signs you experienced with 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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