Dad just diagnosed

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Hi all,

My dad (66) has just been diagnosed & has a 5cm tumour which is making it near on impossible to swallow most things even liquid things but his consultant doesn’t think they need to intervene & widen the oesophagus yet. He’s been referred to a dietitian but no luck with getting one yet & as he also has diverticulitis we are really struggling with trying to get everything he needs to build up his health. He’s currently having 2 bottles of fortisip a day but does anyone have any experiences with foods we can try? He’s losing so much weight & in so much discomfort. Tia 

  • Hi I have the same as your dad and my tumour is cancerous so have had 4 rounds of chemo. Strangely it was only bread that was an issue swallowing.

    Is your dad's tumour cancerous, I'm guessing it's not as he would have been assessed for chemo treatment.

    If he can swallow some liquids maybe try protein shakes as they may help gain a bit of weight  or if you have a blender or smoothie maker you could make a shake with milk  ,banana, yoghurt soft fruit.

    Hope you get the answers from your consultant

    Best wishes


  • Hi Tia

    I was diagnosed March last year and ended up having 2 Dieticians (2 different HAs involved in treatment). The fortisips were important as they had a lot of proteins. I was told to eat whatever I could get down my gullet. It was only liquid or very soft food that I could manage.

    Complan (or other diet shakes). I liked the banana ones. Certainly tasted better that the fortisips.

    Ice Cream / Yoghurt / Jelly / little raspberry trifles

    Buy a blender and make smoothies with fruit and whole milk.

    Mash cheese into the insides of baked potatoes (leave the skins). Or cheesy mashed potato. I had this most days.

    Chocolate (melts in the mouth)

    Greek Yoghurt (has protein but I only liked the one with added Vanilla)

    These foods kept me going until the operation. I probably lost a stone and a half or more during this time but I was walking a lot to keep fit. By the morning of the operation the chemotherapy had shrunk my tumour enough that I could have a sausage, bacon, and egg sandwich!

  • Hi Dean, 

    It is cancerous but long story short he had a heart attack followed by a heart infection & an under lying heart condition so it was only due to having a pet scan to find out how the infection came around that they discovered the tumour before that he had no symptoms so they are having to work between cancer doctors & heart doctors to plan treatment. They are hoping to give him full body chemo because of a few of his lymph nodes not looking great but it’s going to be very much trial & error of what his heart can handle. 

    It was only after he had the camera down that he started to have problems swallowing but I shall pass on your advice to him. 

    I hope your journey is going well! 

  • I am so sorry to hear that. Did it take long between the referral for dieticians & you receiving their help? Also did you have any problems with feeling like you needed to burp to get the stuck feeling to go but unable to? 

    I don’t think he actually minds the fortisips too he’s just avoided ones he doesn’t like the sound of. 
    Thank you for your advice I shall pass it on to him. 
    We’re still waiting to see oncology but he’s hoping he can have surgery the thing he misses the most is steak but doesn’t like the sound of a blended steak haha.

    i hope you are doing well 


  • Hi, yes that all seems very complicated and I can only imagine how poorly he must feel. It's horrible not being able to eat  properly. They should assign you a nutritionist so your dad can get stronger.

    I have just had my Petscan after 4 rounds of chemo so waiting on results to see what the plan is. Picc line is coming out today as op is scheduled for Dec 29th.

    Thank you for your kind wishes and I hope your dad gets better soon

    Best wishes