Esophageal cancer

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I have stage 4 uncurable esophageal cancer and there is no optionforan operation.  I have had 6 cycles of chemotherapy and immunotherapy.  I had a scan after the 4th which showed my tumour had shrunk.  I am having 8 chemo cycles in total then I will continue with immunotherapy only.  A couple of weeks ago I got a piece of meat stuck and it took a lot of drinks and  being sick many times for it to eventually move, it was very scary. I have noticed since then I have to be really careful when eating as things get stuck easily especially bread, has anyone else experience this. I'm wondering if the stuck meat has damaged the esophagus and it needs to heal. 

  • Hi Cookco

    I also have stage 4 uncurable but treatable OC which had spread to my lungs. No op for me either, just chemo. The reason I knew about it was bread getting stuck and really hard to swallow. I had 4 rounds of chemo and a CT scan half way the 3rd. The tumour had shrunk significantly and my lungs were clear. They were quite amazed. All this within 4 months of finding out. I am now on no treatment and have no difficulty swallowing but I must contact them if it starts again. The oncologist told me still to be careful as food could still get stuck on scar  tissue even if dormant. He said it would not do harm but be uncomfortable and scary. Just take care.

  • Thank you for your reply. I'm wondering if it is scar tissue from when the meat got stuck and I am possibly getting anxious every time I eat now. Great news after your scan, keep positive 

  • Hi Cookco

    What you're experiencing was actually my very first symptom. Bread has always been my nemesis. I wouldn't worry too much about damaging the esophagus as it's a very flexible tube that can stretch quite a lot. Unfortunately this is also a reason that symptoms can sometimes only manifest late on. Mine was in the junction with my stomach and I'd never have known about it. I only became aware through several strictures I had much further up which I'm assuming is where yours is? There are plenty of success stories on this platform from people living many years on therapy alone so good luck and keep the faith!


  • Thank you Anthony.  Yes I  occasionally struggled, before diagnosis, when I ate bread or pasta.  My tumour is quite large 8-10cm and in middle of my chest area. Things were definitely getting easier once treatment started but since the meat episode it can be a problem,  not all the time thankfully. Hopefully it will improve Pray 

  • It will. I've just had my third round of FLOT and can eat most things now (even bread) although due to the actual treatment I've been left with little to no taste or appetite which is very annoying!

  • Hi Rosiecat,

    How are you doing?

    How long have you been off treatment now?

    My husband is on chemo only has one more cycle to go then a break from treatment.

    Take care 

  • Hi there.

    They stopped after round 4 of 6 mid March as getting really fatigued and results were already beyond expectation. I was on cisplatin and capecitabine. I will get a call from them end of August but no more treatment if no symptoms. The tumour is still there but not bothering me so let's hope this continues for a good while yet. They may try immunotherapy in the future. Unfortunately I will suffer fatigue for a 6-8 months after treatment which I didn't know before.

    Take care

  • Wow Rosiecat, you are doing so well, my husband is on CAPOX but can't have immunotherapy.

    Let's all hope the cancer stays stable for a long while.

    We were told you suffer fatigue after treatment.

    Take care

  • Hi my dad has just finished his chemo radio 2 weeks ago his tumour is also at the junction to the stomach(stage3) he has an NG tube and atm is really struggling to swallow anything he is also so exhausted - did you have radio ? 
    how long will it be before he starts getting a little energy back - anybody else have NG tube and how long for?  all he wants is to have it removed and start eating food again 

  • . I have noticed since then I have to be really careful when eating as things get stuck easily especially bread, has anyone else experience this. I'm wondering if the stuck meat has damaged the esophagus and it needs to heal. 

    For what it's worth, I wouldn't wonder whether or not the stuck meat has caused any damage. I think that's very unlikely - but, clearly, you have to be careful and pragmatic about what you eat.

    For my wife, bread was definitely a real problem. So, if you're finding the same, just avoid it. My wife went onto things like potato scones, which seemed much more easily tolerated for a while. But her diet was definitely experimental.

    Good luck - and all the very best!