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Esophogeal Cancer - Looking For Hope

rhgunder
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2007

My Dad was diagnosed with Esophogeal Cancer approximately one year ago. He is 91 years old and because of his age did not have the option of surgery. He underwent five weeks of radiation treatment, and although frail seemed to regain his strength and ability to swallow. Now, a year later the cancerous tumor in his esophagus has returned and seems to be growing rapidly. Although he does not seem to be in pain, he has a great deal of difficulty swallowing, - some days are better than others. The difficulty in swallowing is of course having an effect on his weight and he is getting weaker, although still able to get up and around. Dad is increasingly frightened because the doctors have offered no hope and what little food he does get down seems to come back up about 50% of the time. Mom, 93 years old, is increasingly frightened because no matter what she fixes for him to eat, it won't pass the tumor. Dad has had a long and good life, is still mentally very sharp, and while we feel blessed to have kept him as long as we have, we want to keep him going for as long as we can. Do any of you have any advice or thoughts on what we might give him to keep is his strength up or what might help him in swallowing? Thanks, Dick

mystikpepper
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2007

I think the fact that his family, including his wife is there to support him is an incredible source of inspiration. Im sure its what has kept him alive so far and that he still can keep any food down at all. You can try alternative medicine like acupuncture to help with him keeping his food down. Just because regular doctors dont give him much hope, doesnt mean other types of treatment wont work.

rhgunder
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2007

Thanks for the reply. I had not thought of acupuncture but will certainly give it a try. Best regards,
Dick

davidsonxx's picture
davidsonxx
Posts: 137
Joined: Mar 2007

I have a couple of suggestions you might try. The first is to puree his food in a blender. That way it is easier to swallow. It changes the consistency but keeps most of the taste so he could still have the food he likes. The second suggestion is to try something like Ensure or an instant breakfast. Toward the end of my sister's battle with cancer it was all she could eat and keep down. Maybe it will work for your dad.

rhgunder
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2007

Thank you for your kind and helpful reply. We are putting a good bit of his food through a blender now and have him drinking a couple of Ensure's a day. The nurse also has provided a medication that is 1/3 benedryl, 1/3 lidocaine, and 1/3 malox which helps relax his esophagus and has helped him get a little down. Hope it keeps working for a while. Thanks again for your help, Dick

stressed
Posts: 24
Joined: Jun 2006

My husband had tonsil cancer and he had a feeding tube which helped - it is surgery, but not as invasive. Also - try pediasure instead of Ensure - it's by the same company but may not be as hard on the system & contains more fat because it's for children. Best of luck!!!

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