Squamous Cell cancer upper esophagus

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Hi All,

My husband, 64 and healthy, got a crouton stuck last November and then in January a bit of pizza. We waited weeks before a GP would refer him to have the camera down his throat. The same day he had a CT Scan and the following week a PET Scan. Told today its inoperable as its so high up in his throat and its borderline between head and neck cancer and esophagus cancer. Being offered types of chemo and Radiotherapy and a 'Rig' fitted to be fed through. They said its stage 3 and he has to have 5 weeks of this treatment and then more treatment covering months.  He is very worried that after all this awful treatment that he still wont last long. Does anyone know any happy, long levity  outcome for this treatment? Can you go on to lie the 5 years or is it rare. Noone seems to be telling us any real facts.  No one seems to mention if they came out the other end of this radio/chemo and went on to feel better and live a few more years.  All I can see are the horror stories. Please tell me that there is possible good news out there?

  • Hi I had OS discovered from one of my follow up scans for voice box cancer, it came as a very big shock as I had no symptoms. This was coming up 3 years ago, my treatment was 35 radiotherapy treatments and 6 chemotherapy cycles 

    i am now on 4 monthly scan/checkups fingers crossed I am fine and still working as I did throughout both cancer treatments 

    I hope this helps both of you realise the treatment works and to stay as positive as you can 

    Take care 


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  • Hi 

    I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma mid oesophagus, T2N0M0, in March 2021. I was 53, generally fit and healthy. I had radical chemoradiation as part of the SCOPE2 trial. I am now 2.5 years clear. 

    When I was diagnosed, the tumour was blocking my oesophagus completely so I had a stomach feeding tube fitted and I syringed everything through that - water, Fortisip and medication. After the first (of four) chemo, the tumour shrank a bit and I was able to nibble on crumbly savoury cheesy biscuits. Towards the end of the end of the 25 radiotherapy sessions my oesophagus became inflamed and it was harder to swallow again but that only lasted a couple of weeks. My oesophagus is now scarred so I have to chew everything well. I now eat a plain diet as I have acid reflux (I didn't have it before treatment) but otherwise I'm doing OK. 

    Keep positive. There are good news stories on here. Don't read the statistics or the horror stories on the internet. Your husband can do this, being fit and healthy will stand him in good stead. We are all here to support you both. 

    Take care,


  • Hi Sopranos. Sorry to hear of your husband’s diagnosis. I can only tell you of my experience which is fairly recent, and does relate to your husband’s situation, in that I also had Squamous Cell Cancer. My treatment was Chemotherapy, namely infusion every three weeks of Cisplatin, four times in total, plus twice daily Capecitabane tablets for 11 weeks. I also had 25 sessions of Radiotherapy beginning week 6 of treatment plan. I found the treatment not as bad as I imagined it might be, and mainly suffered with fatigue and tiredness. I noticed an improvement in my swallowing after about a month, although swallowing became a problem towards the end of the Radiotherapy. I hope that this gives you some hope that the treatment might not be as bad as you are imagining. I was 63 when I was diagnosed. Best wishes, Julie

  • Thanks so much for your supportive reply.  I think I will need you all in the coming weeks and months.  xxxx

  • Hi Tony, thanks for that. I'm just worried that it taking so long to get the treatment started. 

  • Hi Sopranos, Julie

     I was also diagnosed with Stage 4 G3 SCC, Squamous Cell Cancer, 60mm down I think, beginning of November.  No surgery or radiotherapy due to fact had spread to lungs. Mid 3rd round Chemotherapy, namely infusion every three weeks of Cisplatin, four times in total, plus twice daily Capecitabane tablets, same as Julie had a CT scan. Nodules have totally vanished from my lungs and tumour shrunk dramatically but still there. They decided to stop the chemo after round 4 as side effects getting worse. I now have to wait till end of May for anything else to happen which is a but worrying after the initial good news. Julie, did your tumour disappear?

  • Hi Rosiecat. Thanks for your message. How are you feeling at the moment?
    To answer your question, about a month after the Chemotherapy and Radiation had finished I went to see my Oncologist who said that it looked (from a recent C.T. scan)  like the tumour had shrunk but because the Radiotherapy also caused trauma to the area, it was difficult to say. She also said that because I was eating normally, was also a good sign. I was then left for 10 weeks to allow some healing to occur before having surgery to remove my Esophagus and it was four weeks after that, that I was given the wonderful news that the histology showed there was no residual tumour and nothing in the lymph nodes. 
    I hope this information is of use to you and if you want to read my full account, you can do this by tapping on my name. 
    From what you say you have been given positive information, and I truly hope that you continue to receive more. It’s a long slog and it varies for us all. Thankfully this forum helps us to connect with others who understand. Very best wishes, Julie

  • Hi Julie

    I am feeling find and eating normally just an occasional twinge. I never realised you had had surgery as well, but so glad everything cleared up. They told me at the start that I would not have surgery or radiotherapy, just chemo as Stage 4. Now everything in my lungs has cleared and my tumour shrunk to 15mm they may have another plan but they have not shared it with me yet, I shall have to wait. I must admit I would really like to know.

  • Hi Rosiecat. Wow - you did have a good response to the Chemotherapy. Fingers crossed that they will give you further treatments and that you can be reassured a bit more when they see you in May. Pleased you are feeling reasonably well at the moment, and I hope you can get outside and appreciate the early Spring months. Will be thinking of you and post if need a chat. Best wishes, Julie

  • Thanks Julie

    I have had a long chat with my Macmillan navigator and she says they think? the tumour is now dormant and will only do anything if I feel at all unwell. We will talk in May and she wants me to keep in touch on a weekly basis. Will wait and see but a bit concerned as never felt ill in the first place so how will they know if it has spread to my lungs again.  I can certainly get out and about and hope the final chemo will leave my body and get my energy back.