Gullet (oesophagus) cancer

A support group for anyone affected by gullet cancer (also known as oesophageal cancer) to come together, share experiences and ask questions.


Posted by


i posted here a couple of weeks ago about my dad. He had an endoscopy on 20th December and told it was oesophageal cancer. Biopsies were taken at that time. He then had an appointment for a ct scan on the following Tuesday. He was told by the cancer nurse that the biopsy was showing pre-cancerous and not cancer. His ct scan showed it looks like ‘it’ is contained within the oesophagus and that there is a thickening of the oesophagus. 

he has a pet scan booked tomorrow and an endoscopic ultrasound on Friday. He’s also had a pre-op and a fitness test, both of which were absolutely fine and no issues raised. We aren’t totally sure for what op the pre-op was for though! The nurse mentioned he might be having a laparoscopy also.

i guess the reason for my post is to find out is this process normal, and at what stage in the process people we’re actually confirmed with having oesophageal cancer? Dads current diagnosis is ‘high grade dysplasia’ but they need to do all these other scans and tests and the nurse said they’re going to treat is as cancer. I’m anticipating an actual cancer diagnosis, but thought that that would have happened by now....

these past 2 and a half weeks have been utterly dreadful. 



Posted by

Hi Lori, this sounds very similar to the staging process I went through. The pre-op will have been for the laparoscopy which is the final part of the staging process.They don't actually do anything just take a look internally to ensure the cancer hasn't spread. It was very quick, I was under for less than an hour and think I was in and out of the hospital within about 4 hours.

From memory my staging journey looked something like this -

Endoscopy with biopsies taken - warned it was very likely I had oesophageal cancer

CT scan

EUS (endoscopic ultrasound) then later the same day had meeting with consultant to confirm I had cancer and advise initial staging

MRI of liver (after something noticed in EUS)


Staging laparoscopy

It was all a bit of a whirlwind at the time with lots of calls from the hospital arranging various scans and appointments. Once the staging was complete I then had another meeting with the consult where they confirmed the diagnosis and the treatment plan.

I was told early on I definetly had cancer and I'm not sure if the process is any different for high grade dysplasia but the staging process your dad is going through sounds very similar to what I experienced.

Kind regards,


Posted by

Well I will keep everything crossed for you , I had endoscopy in June and was told at the time it was cancer biopsy x6 taken , met with surgeon week later told there was no evidence of cancer in the samples but as the endoscopist was so sure they would treat as ulcers and redo endoscopy two weeks later , I was so confused and delighted and went out with the family to celebrate however 5 days later the call came in cancer confirmed at junction  , various scans taken later to confirm grade 3 . It was hard but had chemo radiotherapy and Ivor Lewis and now doing well , x

Posted by

Hi Lori

Yes it’s pretty dreadful until everything is finalised and a treatment pathway is established. Then one gets swept up in the whole chemo thing while trying to get fit(ter). And then the brief respite before surgery during which time everybody gets nervous but resigned to what is necessary and hoping for the best possible outcome.

Your dad needs to stay positive so he needs to see that you are positive too. And you have every reason to be positive. It appears to have been caught early, so when the staging comes back hopefully there will be cause for celebration (in spite of having cancer), 

That’s all easy for me to say I was the patient; it’s harder for the family. But put on a brave face and travel this road with your dad, with fight and determination.

Counting the days, making every day count.