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My Dad diagnosed with SCC of esophagus

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2008

I thought that I would check out some online support, hoping that my Dad may also join in, and talk to people that understand what he is going though.

Over the past few months my Dads voice changed and he began to have difficulty swallowing and breathing. On a few occasions he was coughing up blood. This finally drove him to see the Dr.

After all the scans and tests required last month my 50 year old Dad was diagnosed with a 5cm x 4cm x 3cm squamous cell carcinoma a joining the base of his tongue. His airway was 80% occluded and he required an emergency tracheostomy and a 10 day hospital stay where he had 7 teeth extracted and a peg feed placement.

It has since been Christmas and New Years and he has had time to heal…we physically! Next week he will have a blood test then some chemo followed by radiation.

The hospital lost $2000 of Dads scans…which made him really angry at the hospital system. He has had to tracheostomy bleeds, one requiring urgent surgery to locate the bleed. He was left over the holiday season without any real information or assistance or enough products to care for his new appendages.

My Dad is an intelligent man, he is still managing to head off to work for 8 hrs most days, but these past 2 weeks he has been exhausted, I know the worst is probably yet to come. I have asked him to check out this site in hope that he can talk to people about what he is experiencing, gain some new perspectives and have somewhere to spend his time. He has never been into a chat room although he may join this one if he feels it has a purpose.


Regards zepal (Australia)

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Posts: 18
Joined: Dec 2007

Hey zepal,
I'm new to this forum and joined for the same reason as you with the exception that I am the patient.
I was diagnosed after surgery to investigate swollen lymph nodes in my neck. The cancer was located just above my vocal chords. In Oct. thru Nov.of 07 I had 38 radiation treatments and 4 chemo sessions. I lost my voice and still can only speak in a whisper. My throat still is very tender and it's painful to swallow.
I have enjoyed good medical attention but virtually no explanation of what to expect or how long I will continue to have the side effects of my treatment. I realize as will you that we all heal and recover differently but I feel there has to be better information than I've been able to receive from my Doc.'s
I will have my first PET scan in Feb. to confirm the results of all the treatment. I pray it's all gone!
Like you, I need the support of folks that have been there. I hope to learn more and help where ever I can here on this site.
Please don't hesitate to contact me if there's anything I can do to support you and your Dad through this very difficult time.
Greensboro, NC USA

dads helper
Posts: 12
Joined: Oct 2008

I am understanding your situation. My father was recently (4 weeks ago) diagnosed with stage 4 of the same type of cancer. He too has a trach and we are just starting our treatment on Tuesday. Did your father go through spells of wanting to eat all the time? Mine has the peg tube as well. Right now, my mind is jumbled with information that I cannot even form words together to explain his diagnosis. All I know (without technical terms) is that he cannot even pass the swallow test, the mass is that big. I also know that if the mass breaks into his trach area he is dead. This is also a possibility to occur during radiation.

Any ideas on what to expect from radiation? He will be getting it from his upper right lung on up to his throat. We have cancer in the esophogas (sp), thyroid, two lymph nodes and in the right lung.


Faith96's picture
Posts: 2
Joined: Dec 2009

Long story short… My father was diagnosing with laryngeal cancer stage 4 (Aug 3) He had 2 options either to have Chemo/Radiation which the doctor couldn’t guarantee the cancer will be gone, or surgery. The surgery was a major one. It took 16 hr. He had a complete Larygectomy and bilateral neck dissection of the neck. He’s now a neck breather and will never be able to talk without a mechanical device. There was some lymph nodes that couldn’t be save. My father had a feeding tube in his nose for about 2 months. Once he took his swallow test and passed the removed his tube. My father ate well and was able to do everything normal but complained about the tightness he felt and how his jaws where so sore. The ENT stated that because he had a major surgery and hasn’t used his jaws in a while is why he was feeling uncomfortable. He was in and out of the hospital every weekend because of this.

Coming November I took him back to UTMB in Galveston because we notice he had a lump on the side of his neck. He has some drainage coming out too. To find out it was masses. The doctor studied it and notice his cancer was back, but worst then it was before. Surgery was not an option. She recommended that we do Chemo/Radiation... Because my father was in and out of the hospital, he would miss his consultation with the oncologist. My father now has lost 30lbs. Losing so much of his weight a peg tube was placed in his stomache. My father has troulble sleeping as well with alot of clear drainage coming out of his nose and its non stop. He has to use his suction machine all the time. His face is swollen from neck to cheeks. He complains about headache all the time. His hearing is not as well and his vision is slightly blurred. Now he’s complaining his whole entire body aches.

He has an appt. this coming wed 12/23/09 at MD Anderson in Houston TX with Doctor Jeffrey Myers. Hopefully he has some great news for my father about starting his Chemo. It was a TERRIBLE surgery to go through, but with the love, support, guidance and determination I know my father will do great.

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