Patient Comments: Esophageal Cancer - Prognosis and Stage

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

Comment from: katie f, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

My cancer was due to having spasm of the esophagus and although the doctors told me that I would not get cancer the pain I encountered in the upper part of my neck and in my back, as well as not being able to swallow told me otherwise. I went for a second opinion after suffering for two years and the biopsy showed abnormal cells which three months later turned cancerous. So if you suffer continually like I did keep going to the doctors and having tests it could save your life. It is now 3 years since my operation and I find that if I take tablets to reduce acid being produced both morning and night I do not have much trouble with acid in my throat. I still have intestine pains after eating but this is normal as I do not have as much serotonin in my stomach to control digestion as everyone else. Who cares though I am still here even if my insides are different.

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Comment from: 65-74 Female (Caregiver) Published: January 07

My mom was just diagnosed at age 71 with stage 3 esophageal cancer at the junction between the esophagus and stomach. She was asymptomatic. They found it after a food poisoning incident and running tests. She is doing chemotherapy/radiation and surgery in 6 weeks. Her surgeon is very blas´┐Ż about this process and assumes everyone would want to do this because it won't go away by itself. I worry that this will all be for naught because the surgery looks incredibly risky and dangerous. We are in a good area for the surgery however, a large metro area with great hospitals, but you just never know how things will play out.

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Published: August 01

My brother has had cancer in several areas and after chemo and radiation he was free of cancer a few months ago. He went for a check-up 2 months ago and has now been diagnosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer. He went to the Cleveland Clinic and was told by more than one doctor that surgery isn't an option for him because of his heart and lungs. He was burned by radiation so terribly that he has opted out of it again. He has been told he will not survive for too long without surgery, which can't be done. Since it is stage 3 in a matter of a couple months I just wonder how long he will be with us. He has talked to his children already and is living his remaining time enjoying the grandkids as best as he can. I think prayer is all we have now.

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Comment from: crystalbay, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 06

I was diagnosed Stage 3 in 2010 at age 66. It was adenocarcinoma and the only symptom was pills getting stuck occasionally. I had 6 weeks of chemo and daily radiation prior to the 9-hour Ivor Lewis gastroesophagectomy. I spent 4 months in the hospital on a feeding tube afterwards, lost 30 pounds (I began as a size 4 and now I'm size zero), but have had 8 clean PET scans since three years ago.

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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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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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