Half way through Treatment

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Hi There all,

I have read with interest the various posts on this forum. My husband was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer back on February when he kept getting food stuck in his throat. The diagnosis is that its so high up and near his windpipe that its inoperable, but they are hopeful they can cure with chemo and radiotherapy combined.  

He is exactly half way through the chemo tablets and starts the radio on Wednesday.  He has the intravenous chemo every month by Cannula.  However, apart from saying his bloods are fine there has been no 'half way advice'. On some of the posts here I can see people have had a meeting with their consultant to see how well the tumor is shrinking...or not...and if they need to change/alter the treatment.  We've had non of this. Just a CT scan but that is so they can pinpoint the radiotherapy. He is still clearing his throat a lot but swallowing seems to be better and he is eating normally.

My question is, should there not be some sort of scan to show if the tumor is shrinking at the half way mark??

Also does anyone have advice on foods/drinks to avoid after/during treatment?  I'm assuming alcohol is a no no, but what about other things? Do people drop sugar, desserts etc.?  Some people I understand go to a strict Keto diet? Any comments?

Thank you

  • Hi Sopranos

    Welcome to the forum, even though you probably would prefer to not have to be, as you see I had OS 2 years ago and am in remission with 4 monthly scans and reviews, my cancer was high up and I had already prior to the treatment plan had said I wouldn’t have an operation. I had 8 weekly Chemo and 35 RT sessions, I have to say I had lots of different tests prior to the treatment starting including a quite horrible Liver Test, there were no further scans after the planning RT process and has he been tattooed !.

    I didn’t have eating issues prior to being told I had OS it was discovered via one of what was then 3 monthly checks and I didn’t have any during the treatment, he will need a soft diet nothing special but I lost 12 kilo, plenty of cream and also the Dietician will become involved if not already and will  most likely prescribe Ensure or other high protein soft drinks. I called them the Food PoliceWink

    I worked all through my treatment until the last 2 RT’s and I was flat out for 2 weeks, tell him not to be pig headed like me and ensure he takes on board as much water as they prescribe as the dehydration is awful and my skin is still suffering.

    I hope all goes well and you know where we all are

    Take care both of you

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  • Sorry Kasvan but can I ask was it esophageal cancer or throat cancer you had as it seems to be the latter hearing your symptoms and treatment 

  • Hi,

    My dad has oesophageal cancer with his tumour sounding in the exact same place as your husbands.

    He didn’t have chemotherapy just radiotherapy, he finished his treatment at the beginning of this month and had no scans half way through his treatment. 

    I was expecting a scan before we see his oncologist again but we’ve had no dates for scans as of yet but have had an oncologist appointment through. 
    His swallowing massively improved and he is no longer using his feeding tube. 
    He is not avoiding any foods now that he is able to actually eat, he was nil month between December 2023 - April 2024. 

  • Hi Sopranos

    i was diagnosed March 2024 oesophageal cancer on the junction of stomach in operable but treatable with chemotherapy and radiotherapy which l started 3 weeks ago. I had only just finished breast cancer treatment when l found out l had oesophageal cancer.  Before  l started treatment I had a MRI scan CT scan and PET scan to see if the cancer had not spread any where else thankfully it had not spread.  I am having chemotherapy intravenous every three weeks (4 in total) chemotherapy 2/tablets twice daily for 11 weeks and radiotherapy will be starting on the 7th week of treatment for 5 weeks.  So far I am eating a lot better , pain has gone I am just feeling sick all the time but not being sick.  I have been seeing my oncologist just before my three weekly treatment no mention on any scans halfway through, but I am almost sure they mentioned I will have a CT scan after treatment has finished.  I have had protein drinks from the hospital , I eat soft foods smash , soups pasta , ice cream, soft puddings with custard or cream and malted milk chocolate biscuits dipped in tea to soften them. Also I make milk shakes and put a banana and ice cream in them.  I  drink semi skimmed milk l found full fat milk upset my stomach.  I lost a stone in weight but since having treatment I have not lost no more weight. Hopefully I will put this weight back on after treatment has finished

  • Hi Biious Bob the comment was regarding my OS cancer l had no chemotherapy or Radiotherapy for my voice box cancer 

    Community Champion Badge

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    We'll do whatever it takes. For information, support or just someone to talk to,

    call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk

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  • Hi

    somebody just mentioned voice box cancer, my husband was eventually diagnosed with this would like to know a little more about your treatment/symptoms if you would like to share thank you

  • Thank you, yes he's drinking as much as he can. Fingers crossed. He is only on day two  now of the radiation. He is eating well with no restrictions but is clearing his throat much more...I guess its the irritation on the tumor starting.

  • Hi, Its esophageal cancer but so high up he was borderline throat. No operation as too near voice box. Just had the usual chemo (4 rounds I think)  and just started radiotherapy.  Outwardly he is doing well but he says its tough, but bearable....so far and he is still working, albeit from home mostly with lots of 'Teams' calls. 

    I'm assuming as the weeks go on he will get worse with the radiotherapy and I'm standing by with the ice-creams and soups!!

    Just hope all this will be worth it and it doesnt just come straight back,

  • Hi Janey,

    Yes, I'm standing by with softer foods as the radiation therapy progresses. So far he's actually put on a few pounds in weight but I think that's the steroids they give.

    I think the feedback on his progression will start now as we have weekly 'consultations'. Fingers crossed.

  • Hi again

    I meant to say that hes not had any tattoo...he had a head and shoulder mold fitted.

    Do you know the prognosis of the tumors returning and how quickly?