Advanced Esophageal Cancer

sportsman Member Posts: 97
edited March 2014 in Esophageal Cancer #1
I have a friend that has been diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. He already has a first and second opinion on treatment. They have both recommended surgery first and then chemo and radiation. He is refusing to do this and has decided to try to fight the cancer with diet. I do not know that much about esophageal cancer as my cancer was pharyngeal cancer. I asked my ENT about this and she said he would never be cured with this cancer by using a specific diet. I feel like he is giving himself a death sentence by refusing treatment. I say shame on all those quacks out there who are advising people to try to treat cancer by these means. Treatment was brutal for me and I have severe side effects from the radiation but I am alive now almost four years post treatment. Please pray for my friend and tell me what all of you think about this.


  • mlbrooks852
    mlbrooks852 Member Posts: 67
    Oh My!
    I certainly agree with you that the qacks who are preying on sick people should be shamed. You didn't say what stage your friend's cancer is, but he needs real medical help, not just diet. I do believe that diet is important, but it is only a small portion of the total package of treatment. Try to convince him to get a third opinion. Perhaps if three physicians say the same thing, he will believe.
  • K_ann1015
    K_ann1015 Member Posts: 500
    need second opinion
    WOW---can't believe this unless it is very early stage---I am sure you'll hear from William who has lots of experience here. If it is stage 2 or above it seems most get chemo radiation first to shrink cancer to make surgery easier. DIet, I think is not going to cure her cancer.

    I hope lots of folks give you feed back but I am worried that she is simply trying a change in diet....
  • This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • This comment has been removed by the Moderator
  • unclaw2002
    unclaw2002 Member Posts: 599
    unknown said:

    This comment has been removed by the Moderator

    Graviola Use in Cancer Treatment

    I start off this post with the disclaimer that I am not a doctor. I am not giving medical advice and this is my personal opinion. Also, please do not be offended by what I say but I was led to post this because I do believe that many try to profit from the fear of cancer patients. I think perhaps you misunderstood the previous posts about the danger of totally ignoring medical advise and following "quacks" who promise miracle cures for deadly cancers. We are fortunate to be living in this age when a cancer diagnosis for many is no longer a directive to go to the funeral home and buy a casket. That being said there are many deadly cancers that don't have the survival rates of others.

    Espohageal Cancer is considered one of the dealiest cancers. This is made worse because of a lack of reseach dollars, the emphasis on this cancer research has been scant, public awareness campaigns non existent and generally a lack of urgency from the general community in trying to find new and better treatments for Esophageal Cancer patients. The 5 year survival rates are dismal and improvements in treatment may just be coming online as efforts to curb health care costs are having devistating effects on cancer research, especially the less popular and rare ones.

    As for alternative therapies and nutritional support to help fight cancer I think that it is not altogether accurate to say the medical professionals are ignoring the potential healing properties of integrative medicine which combines herbs and natural therapies with traditional cancer therapies. For instance Sloan Kettering has an entire department dedicated to this effort and discusses the benefits of Graviola Use at MD Anderson also has a web site about integrated medicine

    I think all of us here believe that what you put in your body can help you become stronger, fight disease and perhaps help fight cancer. But what I think concerns me and others is when someone says ignore "convential therapy" I can cure your "incurable cancer" with diet alone. We all know miracles happen and sometimes people have their cancer go away and noone knows why. And we all wish for that. But I am also a believer in God helps those who help themselves so when faced with an initial option for a treatment that may work thats when I become scared.

    And I do agree with you completely that there may come a time to say that the chemo is harming the body so much that there isn't a quality of life anymore and that perhaps it is time to stop chemotherapy and agressive treatment and let nature take it course and enjoy what time they can. And I do know that there are people that make that choice at the begining of their journey. I would imagine most of the time those choices are made after careful consideration and consultation of the options, benefits and drawbacks to those decisions. Many on this site have posted from time to time the Mayo clinic article about "When is Enough Enough" in making a decision to stop treatment.

    There are many resources available for the use of supplements on the web. I am posting some at the end of this message. I don't endorse these, nor have I visited them all but they are a resource for those interested in finding out more about the integration of alternative medicine into a traditional medical treatment plan. If someone goes down this path it is important to let the treating physician know all and any supplements they are taking. Sometimes the supplements can interfere with the Chemotherapy or have other side effects.

    And I am going to check into the graviola use and speak to my dad's doctors about its use. The general article I read at Discovery Health "How Graviola Works" at was very interesting.

    Thanks for letting us know about the supplement. And I know you are missing your mom and wondering what if . . . I do that all the time and my dad is still with us. What is the right thing to do and I can't answer that. I know you were there for her, you held her hand you supported and loved her through those very dark final days. She never doubted your love and devotion to her and that is a priceless gift that I am sure brought her much comfort.

    By the way, how is your dad doing have they been able to get his situation stable?

    Keep the faith,


    National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

    This site includes information about complementary and alternative medicine for consumers, practitioners and investigators. NCCAM is the federal government’s lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.


    HerbMed is an interactive, electronic herbal database that offers access to the scientific data underlying the use of herbs for health. It is an impartial, evidence-based information resource provided by the nonprofit Alternative Medicine Foundation, Inc. This public site provides access to the 20 most popular herbs.


    This site features information developed by a team of board-certified doctors and specialists. Resources include information about healing foods, supplements and the latest research on complementary and alternative medicine.

    Ask Dr. Weil
    Dr. Andrew Weil is a renowned doctor in the field of integrative medicine. His Web site promotes health care that integrates the body, mind and spirit.

    USP Verified
    The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is an independent, science-based nonprofit organization that sets standards of quality for all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, dietary supplements and other health care products. USP verifies the ingredients, purity, integrity and potency of dietary supplements to promote patient safety.

    Office of Dietary Supplements
    The mission of ODS is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population.

    American Botanical Council
    American Botanical Council is a nonprofit organization that gives evidence-based information on the safety and effective use of medicinal plants and phytomedicines.

    American Cancer Society (ACS)
    The American Cancer Society has evaluated the following complementary and alternative therapies on their Web site: mind, body and spirit; manual healing and physical touch; herbs, vitamins and minerals; diet and nutrition; pharmacological and biological treatment.

    At this site, information is given on over 650 diseases and conditions. There is also a medical encyclopedia, medical dictionary and extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbs and supplements.
  • Boston67
    Boston67 Member Posts: 61
    Don't prevent what we all dream of

    As you read these pages you will be struck by how lucky you may be.

    This is a a cancer that is likely to kill us all.

    Here is some advice.

    Find the best center you can and get there fast. There are many places that will treat you and only a few with the depth to truly help you. Maybe you have already found this. If so, fight hard to double check them, learn what you can and follow their advice.

    Most of us wish we were eligable for surgery, because this is probably your best hope. He must get this cancer out or his body. Most will doubt the efficacy of diet solutions. Cancer is corrupted DNA and it seems unlikely that good nutrition (while important) will uncorrupt these cells (maybe millions) nor kill the ones corrupted.

    We here are all looking for things that will kill corrupted cells. I uerge you to strongly challange the decision to reject sergury.

    Keith Rodney
    Boston age 67
    Dana Farber
    Presently non-operable stage IV.
  • ArchTB
    ArchTB Member Posts: 150
    Not now, but maybe later
    Sorry to hear about your friend. I hope he would be able to fight it and I am wishing him a fast recovery. Concerning the diet, we did a lot of research on this earlier when my father in law had colon cancer. Unfortunately we have to go through this again now, this time for my husband.
    I am not a medical specialist and can only share my opinion. I do strongly believe that healthy food is good for the body. We need to eat less artificial crap (pardon me) and more natural products. I also believe that certain types of food are helpful in building up immune system, preventing certain diseases and perhaps even curing some.
    HOWEVER! There are two ways cells get nutrients: (1) through intake and (2) through reserves. Even if your friend stops intaking crap, his body would be trying to fight the starvation (and I can assure you there will be starvation, even if he eats beats, carrots and nuts non stop) through turning to the fatty reserves. This would put his liver in great danger! If there are no reserves, the body starts literally eating itself. He can develop ulcers and gastritis. All of these would have been manageable under other circumstances, but now he is at risk of getting cancer migrating to vulnerable organs, such as liver and stomach. Moreover, like most of EC patients he probably has lost a lot of weight already and loosing more would not help him go through surgery and recovery. He needs energy, and a lot of energy to build up the strength and get energy for healthy cells.
    My husband's decision in the end was to eat as much as possible, build up strength, go through the treatment and the surgery, and after the recovery and normalization of the eating routine deal with immune system and nutrition.

  • Callaloo
    Callaloo Member Posts: 135
    Good luck to your friend
    Cancer PREVENTION in many (maybe even most) cases can be accomplished through good diet and lifestyle. I have no doubt about that. Cancer CURE is a totally different thing. Best not to confuse the two.
  • Tina Blondek
    Tina Blondek Member Posts: 1,500 Member
    Callaloo said:

    Good luck to your friend
    Cancer PREVENTION in many (maybe even most) cases can be accomplished through good diet and lifestyle. I have no doubt about that. Cancer CURE is a totally different thing. Best not to confuse the two.

    Hello and welcome. I totally
    Hello and welcome. I totally agree with Callaloo. Prevention, not a cure with diet. Especially if your friend has advanced esophageal cancer. You are right with the way you are thinking. This friend needs to get chemo/radiation to shrink tumor first and then surgery to remove tumor. There is no time to waste. Hoping your friend reads our replies and changes his/her mind. Keep us up to date.
    Tina in Va
    Caregiver for Dad
    passed away 3/9/10
    esophageal cancer