Dads diagnosis

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Hi, just looking for some advice please, we have just been told that my 86 year old dad has oesophageal cancer, he has had swallowing problems for about 13 months and has been NG tube fed following an endoscopy tear for 8 weeks. This time after being admitted the biopsy has shown cancer. After a meeting today they said they would attempt to fit a stent to help him eat however no further treatment would be given. When I asked about staging they said they weren’t going to give him a CT scan just the stent and then he can come home on a stent diet. We are wondering if this means that nothing further can be done and basically they are sending him home with community support as end of life? Has anybody else had this ? Thanks in advance 

  • Have you contacted the specialist nurses so you can ask questions? Write them down so you don't forget - from what you've said, there are a lot of questions that need answer so you can understand the decisions and possibly challenge them. Best wishes.

  • Thanks so much for replying, I’m going into hospital tomorrow so will do myself a list, thanks again 

  • Sometimes, there are professionals who are unclear in their reasoning, and this causes us to use our own imagination, which is rarely a good thing.. 

    I would imagine that they would have taken into account your Dad's current medical history and current conditions... although they shouldn't I would assume that they also consider someone's age.  I do hope you have been able to ask questions, because even if Dad does have a stent, there are other concerns about having one and not having any treatment to try and shrink the growth. 

    It is hard of us to give you any real information, but I do hope that you can get the help and greater understanding that both your Dad and you deserve

    Good Luck 


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  • Thanks for replying. I have had the conversations and sadly he will be coming home so he can be comfortable and with his family xx

  • Oh bless you both, 

    We are here for you and so are the Macmillan team, please call them if you need their support. 

    Sending you strength at this time 


    Call the helpline for free on 08088080000, 8am to 8pm everyday.
    Tomorrow is not promised but it always has potential. Aim for your potential!
  • Hi, 

    I'm sorry for what you're going through. Some clinicians can be brutal in their comments. It is within your rights to ask why they are not offering surgery or chemo. It may be age, but this isn't as much of a factor as placement of the tumour (if it is high up, then surgery isn't an option). It could be co-morbidities, does your dad have other health problems? The stent is only offered as a palliative care option. NG tube feeding is horrible, but it is a way to make sure that your dad's weight doesn't decline. I would speak to the clinical nurse specialists in the Upper GI team at your hospital. They are your link to all the information. They should be able to tell you what type of cancer was found in the biopsies and the thinking behind the treatment/management plan you have been offered. They may have had a MDT (multidisciplinary team meeting) about your dad's case, you could ask for the notes from this. Sorry I can't be of more help. 

    Take care.