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My father has just been diagnosed....

helpsavemydad's picture
helpsavemydad
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

And I am so very scared. They did the biopsy and a CT scan. The doctor called him on the phone to say that it is carcinoma and that his lymph nodes are enlarged. We go in tomorrow to find out the real results. He is healthy and had no symptoms other than 6 months ago started having trouble swallowing food once in awhile. EVERYTHING I read has dismal survival rate. Do I believe what I read online?
Any advice for my family?

helpsavemydad's picture
helpsavemydad
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

But someone had just posted a response to my post and now it is gone.... I was in the middle of writing down some of the things in this post and now it dissappeared... :*(

helpsavemydad's picture
helpsavemydad
Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2012

Thank goodness... :) Tomorrow is the day we find out more details. Meet wiht the Oncologist and Radiologist... I am so scared I have to admit.

Amjosmom's picture
Amjosmom
Posts: 231
Joined: Jun 2012

I was also disappointed to read all the dismal outlooks on the internet. Each person's fight is different. My family chose not to tell me the initial prognosis. I am the baby of the family and I suppose to a degree they thought they were protecting me. Then, things started to get more severe and they HAD to tell me what was up. You better believe I was researching survival rates on the net!! Very few were promising, I admit... but that just made me want to look harder! Since I was introduced to my dad's cancer so late in the game, at first, I didn't have much hope, but every single day I find more and more SURVIVORS!! They have so much knowledge and can guide you like they have guided me. Don' t give up!! Be involved in everything. One of my observations while trying to do what's best for my dad has been overstepping my boundaries. Sometimes we forget that my dad gets to make the ultimate decision about what kind of treatment he wants. So I've made it my mission to give him every available option I can find. So far, so good!! Best of luck to you and your family! Please keep me updated!! Hope this puts you at ease a little.

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2010

Below is my response to you, but there are technical glitches going on that are preventing me from entering my answer on the discussion link. I had this trouble the other day, but they assured me that they would fix it. Now here again today, I posted a reply to you. It actually appeared within half an hour of your posting, but now it has been removed.

Hoping the info will be comforting. It's a rocky road, but it can be one of success, and I pray it will be so for your dad.

______________________________________

You have come to a good place for help. We have survivors living here. Yes the stats are not good, but we are living proof that there are survivors after hearing the words, "You have Esophageal Cancer." Incidentally, I learned over the phone as well. That is a shocking way to hear the news. After you catch your breath, and pick yourself up off the floor, it's time to find out what this all means. I am a 9-year plus survivor of Esophageal Cancer, Stage III.

Please get in touch with us as soon as you know more.

Can you tell me more about your Dad? Who are the doctors seeing him?

Are you at a major cancer specialty hospital where Esophageal Cancer is one of their main interests?

There are 3 operations currently being performed. I had the latest completely laparoscopic procedure consisting of only band-aid size cuts, and no major incisions.

I went to the University of Pittsburgh Med. Ctr. and was operated on May 17, 2003.
If your Dad is staged at III or less, even with only local nodal involvement, he will likely be a candidate for surgery. However, pre-op chemo and/or radiation may be necessary if his cancer is not in the very early stages.

We understand your concerns, and we will help any way we can.

William W. Marshall, Age 75 but age 66 at time of my Esophagectomy
Virginia Beach, VA - USA

Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy @ Univ. of Pittsburgh Medical Center by Dr. James D. Luketich. Incidentally he takes self-referrals.

P.S. If you need help finding a qualified surgical team let us know.

Below are some basic links that every person diagnosed with
Esophageal Cancer should be aware of. An Endoscopic UltraSound should be part of the testing as well as a PET/CT scan.

1.

CLICK HERE to follow link to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center site and their publication relative to Esophageal Cancer.

____________________________________________

2.

CLICK HERE to follow link to biographical sketch of my thoracic surgeon, Dr. James D. Luketich, who pioneered the Minimally Invasive Ivor Lewis Esophagectomy in the mid 90's. If surgery is a possibility, this is the surgery to aim for.

______________________________________________

3.

CLICK HERE to follow link to a greeting from one of our caregivers (Sherri) that has researched this cancer extensively. It is called "Advice for the Newly Diagnosed."

______________________________________________

4.

CLICK HERE for a thorough explanation of exactly what HER2+ is all about, and the importance of being tested for it.

Many Esophageal Cancer patients, when tested for an overactive Chromosome17, have been found that they test positive. This gene replicates itself multiple times over thus enabling the cancer to spread more rapidly. Your dad should be tested. If the doctor doesn't mention the test, you should. The FDA has approved this drug called HERCEPTIN to quell the over-expression of this particular gene. Herceptin is given in addition to any prescribed chemo and/or radiation treatments that may be ordered.

_____________________________________________

5.

This animated video explains how Herceptin works to stop the over-expressive activity of the oncogene from both inside and out. One can readily see how rapid the spread can be if the patient has this over active gene.

______________________________________________________________________

6.

Click here to read about "when and how" to get a SECOND OPINION from UPMC

____________________________________________________________________

7.

CLICK HERE to follow link to the National Cancer Institute and the most recent Staging Information available.

_________________________________________________

8.

FOLLOW LINK HERE to read the National Institute of Health's info relative to the Minimally Invasive Esophagectomy. This is the procedure that has the quickest recuperation time.

"Minimally invasive esophagectomy is surgery to remove part or all of the esophagus, the tube that moves food from your throat to your stomach. After it is removed, the esophagus is rebuilt from part of your stomach or part of your large intestine.
Most of the time, esophagectomy is done to treat cancer of the esophagus.

There are many ways to do this surgery. Talk with your doctor about what type of surgery is best for you. It will depend on where in your esophagus your cancer is, how much it has spread, and how healthy you are. Laparoscopy is one way to do this surgery. . ."

____________________________End of references for now______________________

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2010

William asked me to ask you to check your private CSN Email for his complete response to your post. The web site links did not come through in the posting above but you will find the web site addresses in his posting in your private email.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Altra's picture
Altra
Posts: 27
Joined: Apr 2011

So sorry to hear about your dad's cancer. Everyone is different.

My dad was diagnosed in April '11 and passed away in March of this year. However, after a round of chemo/radiation and the surgery, he swore if the cancer came back, he wouldn't choose to go through that again; which he held true to. He spent the last month after finding out the cancer came back relaxing and being around family and friends.

Sadly, my dad was a "typical EC statistic", but there are many, many survivors here as well. Never lose hope!

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