Dec 15, 2009 - 2:24 pm
My father has recently been diagnosed for esophageal cancer(squamous cell carcinoma). It was a shocking news for entire family, but still we feel that he could fight with the destiny.
I am from New Delhi, India and our public health system(supported by government) is very crowded, and private health care services are very expensive. Moreover, many of the doctors have become money minting machines for these private organizations(Ref: http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Dealing_with_Cancer-126417-1.html).
After consulting with few experts, I am really confused about the treatment options for him. Purpose of posting to this board is to get a first hand advice from someone who had similar stage of this cancer. I would really appreciate your advice. I have read some very motivating stories on this forum and translated them to my father so that he could gather some courage to fight this monster.
Following are some of the details which could help you understand the current situation:
Initial symptoms: Unable to eat solid food
Later we consulted one cancer specialty institute where they did the PET scan. Following are some of the key points from PET scan report:
Upper and mid thoracic esophagus shows hyper-metabolic circumferential wall thickening for a length of 6.9 cm at the level of D5-D8 vertebrae. Another hyper-metabolic wall thickening is seen involving lower esophagus and GE junction.
Report does not contain any staging information in the TxMxNx format...
Doctor(surgical oncologist) at the cancer specialty clinic advised us to have a surgery where he will remove the complete stomach and the food pipe. It sounded weird at first but I am not an expert in this area. He told us that surgery had 3-5 % mortality rate, and it would be the best option.
My father had blood pressure related health issues in past, so I am skeptical about surgery option. I am planning to take a second opinion in this case so I would welcome any recommendation for some good honest doctor. I could email the scanned copy of my dad's report, if the location of doctor is in some country other than India.
Thanks for your time in reading this post!