Hi everyone- Just wanting to introduce myself and get some advice/support if that is ok!

My stepdad has recently been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer around the start of May, they said it is T1/T3, he is a heavy smoker and has been for about 50 years but apparently this cancer is not to do with smoking, they said it a rarer form of cancer which is usually seen in asia and it is not very common here in the UK. He started having chest pains and vomiting late last year but the doctor told him it was Costochondritis , months later it was still there and they referred him for an endoscopy and colonoscopy, which he didn't go to- he has since admitted he actually had a feeling it was something very serious or cancerous and that is why he did not go. Eventually after them re-booking the scopes and with pressure from people around him he did decide to go which is when they couldn't even get very far down into his gullet as the cancer had blocked off alot of it, they said there and then it was cancerous and took biopsies. The consultant told him to not eat any solid food at all from then on and he has since been on ensure permanently. He was always overweight and started off around 17.5 stone, he is now 15st 1.

Since all this has happened it feels like we have been left in the dark about alot of stuff, they done many scans etc and because of his other health conditions he is not a candidate for surgery.  They told him without treatment he has 6 months to live, which has obviously really hit him hard. We met with the oncology team this week and the doctor told us that they also cannot give him chemo because some tests came back about his heart and he is running on a reduced function on one side of his heart at around 35% they believe this would cause too much damage and be too much of a risk to try chemo, so they have offered him 4 weeks radiotherapy.  He was really very devastated by this news as it felt like alot of doors had closed in his face, I tried to keep him positive that they have at least offered radiotherapy and this could make a big difference to him and give him alot longer but he is quite negative and I think he feels like he is about to die anyday, he's already organised his funeral etc. Wanting to sort out all his finances etc.

Since the appointment on Tuesday he hasn't even been able to drink his ensure, he is having around 1 or 2 day at most, vomiting multiple times a day (which looks like clear white fluid or spit) and is also struggling to keep water down. They have asked him to go in next week to have a nasal tube fitted. I just wanted to check in really and see if this process is the norm? He is due to start radio mid July- he is going for the marker scan tomorrow.

Thanks everyone, a forum like this is so helpful and much appreciated


  • Hello

    It sounds like he has squamous cell carcinoma - I remember the doctors saying it was common in Asia. I have this. My oncologists said that this cancer is really sensitive to radiation. I can have chemo and radiation to shrink mine but the radiation is the main weapon!  I felt that that was hopeful as I read your post. 

    It’s good he’ll be getting a nasal tube fitted.  I have got a nasal tube fitted - I start my treatment on Tuesday.  I haven’t used it for a feed but I’ve done the training and it’s really easy to use and he will be sent feeds with full day worth of nutrition which could stop the weight loss. 

    It must be so hard seeing him being so poorly and in such a low mood. I hope that the tube will make a difference and he will feel more comfortable soon. 

    Best wishes x

  • Hey, thanks for your reply!

    Yes that's what he was diagnosed with, they didn't tell us about it being really sensitive to radiation, to be honest at the appointment we met with a registrar and just her alone, it wasn't very informative and it felt quite rushed, apparently other people should have been there too. he went for the marker scan yesterday but unfortunately his breathing was too erratic and they couldn't do it so it's been moved until next week now, it has been almost 3 months without treatment so far. Feels like the ball is moving slightly faster now though.

    Yes i think the feeding tube will  be a great help, he can barely keep water down so he is quite dehydrated and running on empty as he can't get any nutrients at the moment.  Thanks for your kind words and lots of luck with your treatment xx