Dad has stage 4 oesophageal cancer

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Hi, I'm new here, 

So last week we found out that my dad has stage 4 oesophageal cancer. He will be having two rounds of  chemo a week, but hes not started yet. Also have said he will have surgery to remove tumour. Hes already having problems eating and drinking, which he's had for months and doctors didnt do anything until he was rushed in to a&e. Obviously had all the scans. I have questions. We as a family are so scared. My dad is avoiding it completely. 

I would like to know the success rate of removing tumour. Best foods or drinks he can have to ease the pain and will be easy to swallow. I've already bought him some bovril to see if that helps. does the chemo help shrink the tumour. I don't want to Google anything because we all know what that's like. So thought I would join this group.

Thanks for reading

  • Hello 

    Sorry to hear that your dad has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer and it sounds like he had a rough time before being diagnosed. my name is Jennie, I am 64 and was diagnosed last Sept 2023, Adenocarcinoma T3/4a,N2,M0. I had 6 rounds of chemo, two different, the last 4 rounds was a Chemo called FLOT which is given fortnightly. In October 2023 I could no longer eat food, if I tried it got stuck then I would be sick for about an hour. Working with the team dietician she gave me some samples of shakes that I could have as a food supplement, she then emailed the GP for me to have these on prescription. After some Chemo I was then able to eat again in December, yes the chemo had shrunk the tumor.. I am nearly 10t weeks post Op. and about to start post op chemo. You will many different journeys on here, there will be differences between geographic areas, types of tumors etc. 

    Ask as many questions as you need to, when I was diagnosed I felt that I wouldn’t have another Christmas, birthday, life felt scary and bleak but as time moved forward, the support from the team, people on here, understanding, hope kicked in. It is a tough journey and a long one. Yes you are right DO NOT GOOGLE, tell you dad not to either, the info is far from correct.

    Get high protein, low sugar shakes for your dad, ask to speck with the dietitian. 

    Hope this helps, take care Jennie SparklesSunflower

  • I agree with Jenny about high protein shakes. There are plenty of appetising flavours out there but make sure you buy good quality ones and always make them with full fat milk (throw in a bit of cream toThumbsup build up the cals and fat content). I double up on the quantities so get around 400-500 cals per drink! If you've got a blender you can also add fruit like banana, strawberries and blueberries which wThumbsupill make it taste even better and push up that calorie count too Thumbsup

  • Hello, I also had OC and have had the operation with flot treatment first, could you tell me if they gave you a time scale that you have to start post op flot treatment?


  • Hi Bella Donna,

    For me it was 11 weeks from operation to start of post-op FLOT. I think 8 to 12 weeks is pretty typical. CB

  • I saw my oncologist today, 11 weeks post op and was very deflated after she  inferred that it might not be beneficial to have flot now but it was my choice if I wanted to. I said yes because surely it’s better than nothing Flushed

  • Hi, I’m new here. I’ve had two rounds of zFLOT with two more planned and then the op. I was ok with the first chemo but the second has knocked me for six. My stomach feels so bad and all I want to do is sleep. Food and drink all taste horrible. I wondered how it was for you and if it got worse with each treatment?

  • Hi RonJoe,

    The side effects you are describing are pretty typical for most people going through FLOT. Add in diarrhoea, peripheral neuropathy and hair loss and that pretty much sums up my experience too. Unfortunately, for me anyway, it did get worse with each treatment. Numbers 3 and 4 were the worst and took at least a couple of weeks each time to recover from. But, like me, I presume you weren’t given any “Plan B” if you wanted to be clear from this terrible disease? So I went through tthe misery of it all, am now 16 weeks post-op and am just getting over the last of my post-op FLOT and looking forward to getting my taste back and building back  up my strength and energy levels. It’s a long and tough journey to be sure, but I’m getting there and so can you. I wish you all the best on your journey. CB

  • Hi  , when i went for my first flot i settled in for a long day and took some home comforts with me, including a prawn sandwich. That i think was a mistake because when i got home i was sick and diarrhoea and felt really bad , i told my oncologist i thought it was the prawns because i had a similar attack after eating sea bass, but she didnt agree it was that and said she would reduce the the treatment and i was perfectly fine with the next rounds of flot so who knows ??. Maybe ask if you can reduce your treatment a little. I think it affects your taste buds, i loved a cup of tea but couldn’t drink it at all. It’s trial and error with food you have to try everything until you find something you can tolerate. I took their advice to listen to my body and if i felt tired i did go and rest. I wish you well for the future.

  • Thank you so much for replying. I really appreciate it. I think I’ll have a word with them and see if the can reduce mine a little. I am having the food problems and I’ve gone off of tea. I’m beginning to build a list of what I like and can eat. It definitely affects your taste buds. I wish you well for the future.