Mar 20, 2007 - 9:34 pm
Mike, my husband was diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer May of last year. His cancer was most likely caused by Acid Reflux (Barretts Esophagus). He was scheduled for surgery to remove his esophagus in June at the recommendation of his gastroenterologist. This surgery is the standard in the U.S. for esophageal cancer.
His cancer looked like it was early. Therefore, I did research online and found another procedure that is the standard for early esophageal cancer in Japan. Japan detects esophageal cancer much earlier than the US, as they do routine upper GI tests. In the US we do not usually find it early, but that is changing with the awareness of Barrett's.
The new procedure (EMR) Endoscopic Mucosal Resection, is much less evasive and does not require surgery. It basically clips off the cancer from the esophagus wall with a tool attached to an endoscope. Then we found out a few hospitals in the US use this treatment. John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic are the two top hospitals for this treatment. John Hopkins was the only one that states on their website EMR as one of their standard treatments for early esophageal cancer. We choose John Hopkins, Doctor Marcia Canto. She is one of the best in the world and has studied in Japan for many years on these procedures. It was amazing that John Hopkins took us without a referring doctor, but they did and they did quickly.
Mike had the ERM procedure and then another additional new procedure (PDT) Photo Dynamic Treatment, to just make sure we got all the cancer. This procedure requires an injection with a chemical "Photofrin". This chemical is activated by light to become a cancer fighting agent. For 2 days the Photorin collects in the cancerous areas and dissipates from the other areas of the body.(Except his skin) The doctor then goes down his throat with a laser endoscope and exposed the areas of his esophagus that may sill have cancer or pre-cancerous cells with the laser light. It basically burns off the lining of the esophagus. It was very painful for a few weeks and Mike had to cover up from head to toe, as he could not be exposed to any outside light, direct or indirect. He was photosensitive. He then gradually could have indirect/direct exposure to sunlight over 3 months.
November 1, 2006 we went back to John Hopkins to get biopsies to determine if he was cancer free. He was CANCER FREE. Three months later, he had his second biopsy on Feb 2, 2007 and is still CANCER FREE.
Dr. Canto is writing a 10 year study on these treatments and there is starting to be more awareness throughout the country. Her studies shows that there is a 93% cure rate - this includes early cancer and pre cancer patients.
Link to Johns Hopkins info: http://hopkins-gi.nts.jhu.edu
Look up EC and go to treatment.
So, there is hope!
He is back to his normal weight and feeling as good as ever! He can eat normal as well.
If you would like any additional information you can reply to this message and I will get back to you
NOTE: THIS IS FOR EARLY EC. 0-1 STAGE- ONLY PRESENT IN THE MUCOSA