Strange symptom of oesophageal cancer

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Hi there, my mum has advanced SCC oesophageal cancer. She’s in palliative care, receiving immunotherapy & monitoring symptoms at this stage. She’s begun having an odd symptom that neither her oncologist nor community nurse can explain. She’s begun bringing up large fleshy chunks of what could pass for chicken. 

She’s nil by mouth and has Nutrison liquid feed only so this can’t be anything she’s eaten. Unless the feed can congeal? I’m wondering if anyone has an experience with this? It’s quite concerning!

  • Hi  ,

    Thanks for getting in touch and posting your question. My name is Amy, and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line.

    We’re sorry to hear you mum has started having this odd symptom of bringing up large fleshy like chunks. I appreciate how concerning this is for you, especially when her cancer team and community nurses can’t explain why this is happening.

    To be honest, my first thought was could it possibly be congealed feed – although I have never experienced this before.

    Are you making sure the feed is shaken properly before use, and being stored correctly? You can read more about preparation and storage here.

    It might be worth getting in touch with the support team at Nutricia directly. You can either send a question through contact us or give their support line a call.

    You can also post this question in the oesophageal cancer forum to see if anyone else has experienced something similar.

    We appreciate how hard it can be looking after and supporting a loved one can be. Especially when living with uncertainty and trying to manage unknown symptoms. It’s important to make sure you are looking after yourself too.

    I hope this helps and please do get back in touch if you need any more information or support. It can sometime help to chat through what’s happening and you are welcome to get in touch again here or give us a call.


    Best wishes,

    Amy C, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist


    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email.