Struggling with options for new fiagnosis


My mother (age 62) was diagnosed with T3N1 esophageal cancer recently. We were initially told that the tumor is 4cm and contained and that this type of cancer was generally treated with chemo andxradiation followed by surgery. We were very hopeful, until we saw the thoracic surgeon. My mom just had a triple bypass 3 weeks ago and is also currently on dialysis. Although she did very well with the heart surgery, the new surgeon to whom we were indirectly referred by another doctor not highly familiar with her case, said she was too weak to do the chemo and radiation and surgery, so he said surgery was not an option. He said the fatality date from thecsurfery for people in her condition is 15 percent and held out very little hope. I can't help but think we should seek another opinion. I cannot understand why the surgery would never be an option, as she is getting stronger following the heart surgery every day.

We found out about the heart issues, the bypass and the cancer all within the past 6 weeks, and she was living a fairly normal life ip until then. The experience yesterday left my mom, who had been very willing to fight, completely demoralized and tempted to forgo all treatment. We are completely shell-shocked, confused and devastated.

We are hoping to talk to her own thoracic surgeon, who may not be aware if the cancer diagnosis since it is so new, for his opinion during her check-up scheduled for today. Can anyone relate to this? Any advice or guidance would he greatly appreciated. Thank you.


  • BobHaze
    BobHaze Member Posts: 163 Member
    Second opinion: YES!
    JoAnne, there is no doubt in my mind that a second opinion is in order, and the sooner the better! The second opinion should be from a surgeon who has a lot of experience with EC, not just thoracic surgery. Please let us know where you are located and I’m sure folks on this board will be able to recommend a surgeon and/or EC-familiar cancer center for you.

    This is serious stuff, and I’m glad for your mother’s sake that you are challenging the surgeon’s conclusion that your mother is not, and never will be, a candidate for surgery.

    Good luck, and please give us some more information so we can help you.

    Dx 8/3/11
    MIE 9/23/11