Newly diagnosed Oesophagus cancer

Good Afternoon,

I'm hoping you'll be able to help with my lovely Mum's newly diagnosed cancer.


Mum has had trouble swallowing for many years, but had it stretched a few time no problem and managed fine.


However this year the swallowing became worse and a burning feeling in her stomach, after a few mouthfuls of food Mum felt full up. 


Dr's prescribed gaviscon and said it was heartburn. We have been with the same Dr years so he knew us well, and we trusted him. 


A few weeks later symptoms didn't improve so the Dr arranged for Mum to see the gastro team at the hospital. 

Mum was advised to have double cream, and fattening foods to help keep the weight up.


Weeks later no improvement so Mum went back to the Dr, he started her on antibiotics as he thought a fungus could be causing the burning pain.


A follow up appointment came at the gastro hospital. 

Mum had lost weight so she started on ensure milkshakes to add calories.

Mum wrote all her symptoms down and explained about the full feeling. 


Mum continued drinking the milkshakes, but the weight loss continued.

Mum was now bringing up all her food, and feeling very weak.


We weren't able to get a face to face appointment with the Dr but a telephone call.

He arranged for Mum to be seen by the gastro team at the end of October.


Mid September Mum was so sick and very worried. 

We brought her into A&E as she looked terrible, and we were all worried.

They sent her home with more antibiotics and said an appointment with the gastro team was on the system.


That week I spoke to the gastro team secretary and explained Mums symptoms. 

She was asked to come in the next day.

A barium swallow was booked that week.


So the swallow showed a problem, and the next day an endoscopy was carried out.

A 6cm tumor was discovered in Mum's gullet. 


How did all these symptoms not ring alarm bells for the Dr's????


We seen the consultant Friday and he said surgery is not an option? 


Has anyone else had this happen?? 


Please help.


Eileen 

  • Hello Eileen

    My dad went back and forward to the doctors for 6 months before they gave him an endoscopy.


    I think awareness of this type of cancer has increased but unfortunately not everywhere / one.


    I am so sorry you are in this position.


    Take care


    Hannah x x

  • Hi Eileen

    I'm sorry to hear of your Mum's condition.


    I had a similar issue in that the GP and initial specialists couldn't find any problem...however finally I had a tumour too.


    What is not clear is how can the consultant advise no surgery when it seems your mum hasnt had a CT or PET scan yet? That's standard for tumour staging?


    Hope this helps


    Best Wishes

    Peter x

  • Thank you for replying Peter.

    I just read over my message and yes, I forgot to add we had the CT scan last Wednesday.


    The results showed the cancer is only in Mum's Oesophagus which is good news. 


    Peter may I ask how you are? 


    My Mum is loosing weight, but cares so much about us all.


    Thank you


    Eileen 

  • Hi Eileen

    It's good that it's contained to your mums Oesophagus. The doctors/ surgeon will still need to confirm formal staging though... And my experience is that a PET scan will be needed.


    I am 52 years old. Was diagnosed in April and am 4 weeks post op. So waiting for my next round of cancer. I was diagnosed at stage 3 and so operable.


    My recovery is on track and im feeling stronger everyday. 


    Most important thing for your mum is keep eating ( if small amounts then make sure they are full of calories/ nutrients)...and try to keep fit...i know its tough but worth it .


    Feel free to ask me anything anytime.


    Good luck

  • I am so sorry that your mum and family have had to endure this,it’s shocking,my dad had trouble swallowing in April,we went to the Drs and the Dr straight away booked him in for an appointment to have an endoscopy,so within weeks we found out he had a 10cm tumour on his gullet,he had six weeks of palliative radiotherapy,but now there is no treatment,just pain relief,six months on he is still fighting,there are good days and not so good days,he is under the local hospice and they have been wonderful,he has had counselling from the hospice psychologist to try and accept the diagnosis and this has helped him a lot,please get as much help as you can.Even though we do not have a positive outcome,we are all in a more accepting and peaceful place due to the help of the hospice.Thinking of you at this sad and difficult time.Xx

  • Thank you so much Kazzy.B

    I'm sorry to hear about your Dad, you make the most of every minute. 

    I hope like you say he's pain free and at peace with what's going on.


    Thank you


    Eileen 

  • Thank you Silverfox65

    It's lovely to hear your feeling stronger every day. 


    I hope your treatment continues without any problems and you enjoy eating again.


    Ah, Mum is not managing to eat any foods at all. We've tried blending, baby foods, you name it.....


    Soup with absolutely no lumps stays down but that's all. 

    Ensure milkshakes are still staying down.

    Mum loves her tricycle, and goes out daily. The children love to see her about she waves and rings the bell. Xx

  • Hi Running lady! 

    So sorry to hear about your experiences. My husband is also suffering from incurable oesophagus cancer which has spread to the lymph nodes. He had a persistent cough which was misdiagnosed. Chest X-ray came back clear and despite numerous visits to GP took over a year before an endoscope revealed the problem. He had chemo in March which couldn’t be completed due to an infection. Over the Summer he was ok but eventually swallowing became a major issue and he could only swallow soups and liquids. A stent was fitted which although not a pleasant experience has made a tremendous difference and he is now eating well. He has just started a second course of chemo...docetaxol. Last week was very hard, no energy, sleeping a lot, irritable, but much better this week and preparing for round two. Would be interested to hear how others have dealt with docetaxol? Strongly recommend the stent and really sympathise with others coping with this horrendous experience!

  • Jelliott, 

    Thank you so for the reply.

    I'm pleased your husband is to eat since the stent was fitted.


    All the leaflets say try and eat really well as during treatment you'll need as much energy as possible to fight. 


    But Mum can only manage liquids.


    I'm sorry to hear your husbands treatment was stopped due to infection, but I'm pleased to hear he's now back on it.


    Thank you for the information about the stent. 

    Did it take ok?? Did he have much pain??


    Thank you 

    Eileen