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Early Esophageal Cancer

ideakbw's picture
Posts: 7
Joined: Mar 2007

I am posting this story for anyone with early stage Esophageal Cancer. (Stage 0-1)

Mike, my husband was diagnosed with Stage 1 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. And is a very serious operation. 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 that use this treatment. John Hopkins and the Mayo Clinic are the two top hospitals for this treatment that I found. Over the past year more hospitals are offering these procedures. John Hopkins was the only one that states on their website EMR as one of their 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.

His treatment was done Aug 2006. November 1, 2006 we went back to John Hopkins to get biopsies to determine if he was cancer free. He was CANCER FREE. Every three months he has been checked and he just had his year check up, Aug 2007 ALL CANCER FREE. Now, we do not have to go back for 6 months.
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 looking and feeling as good as ever! He could eat normal a few weeks after the treatment. If you would like any additional information you can reply to this message and I will get back to you. There have been a few people that have contacted me because of this posting. So, do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

God Bless!
Kim Watson


Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2007

Congratulations on your success. Thank you for the info on this procedure. In the removal my stomach to eliminate a cancer tumor they discovered that there were cancerous cells in my esophagus and removed it also, replacing it with a piece of my colon. None of this worked very well because the cancer has returned but at this point I'm still writing e-mails so I won't complain too much.
I guess they couldn't have done what they did to your husband for me, but it was good to hear that you found a second opinion on your own.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2007

i am desperate to hear my dad got esophageal cancer.you are lucky to have chances to get advanced operation in US.my father is in China now.i am studying in Europe, i am desperate and helpless.i do not know what to do.only thing in my mind now is to fly home and support him mentally.i think it is impossible for me to take him to the most advanced hospital and the most great doctor....i really do not know what to do...desperately...

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