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Esophageal Strictures (narrowing) 9/6/08

judyloo's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Jun 2008

My husband has had a problem with post-op stricture at the anastamosis site in the esophagus; we are on our 7th dilation to "stretch" it and if that does not succeed soon I expect the MD will want to put in a stent. Has anyone out there had this problem? When it starts to narrow he has problems getting the food down and once down, keeping it down. This seems to be one of the few side effects of the surgery (other than residual post-op pain that I suspect most of you had/have. ) Just wondering how common this is - the MD said his record for dilations was 17 (may God intercede on that one)!! Each and everyone of you on this journey get a prayer said as I go thru the discussions and my best to you all.

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Posts: 200
Joined: May 2008

Dear judyloo,

The easiest way to locate other CSN members with similar experiences is to type keywords (such as "esophageal cancer," "esophageal strictures," "gastric pull-up," etc.) on the search bar at the top of the home page. You can refine your search by clicking on the “Advance search” link listed underneath the search field. The major categories of content on CSN are blogs, discussion boards, “About Me” pages, etc. For example, if you are looking for a specific resource on the Resource Library, you can limit your search to resources only by clicking on the "resource" and "advanced search" button at the bottom of the "advanced search" box. Remember that you must be logged on if you want to post anything on a discussion boards, view personal pages, use the chat room, etc.

Your CSN Staff

Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2008

My very good friend has just been diagnosed with stage 4 esophogeal/stomach cancer with lymph nodes, small spot on lung, and some area on pancreas. The doctors here are so evasive in the information they are giving. They won't say anything about his chances for survival but surgery is not an option. He is to start aggressive chemo on Tuesday, Oct 14 and we were told he would receive treatments for 4 weeks then re-evaluate. From the info I have read it sounds like chemo is just a way to prolong for an indefinate lenght of time with all the side effects of chemo. I am lost. How do I get more info from these doctors and what truly does it mean to be in stage 4??

judyloo's picture
Posts: 39
Joined: Jun 2008

Lolly - there are other folks here with stage 4 DX and they will certainly share their experiences; my husband's disease was not that advanced. However the Docs were very aggressive with the RT/Chemo (cisplatin &5Fu) and when we did go to have the surgery the path came back clean!! The chemoradiation was very effective and even if your friend cannot have surgery this may make quality of life much better, re: eating, swallowing, keeping foods down and pain control. Treatment is not an easy road but without it we would have been in a very bad place. I guess the one thing we might have done differently prior to surgery was to have the PEG tube put in place to maintain nutrition & hydration through chemo/RT - my husband would not have lost so much weight and probably would have felt better. Again I'm sure his MDs will be monitoring all of this. One of the best things your friend has going for him right now and he will need it for a long time is the support you and others close to him can provide - my husband and I found this such an important part of his emotional welfare. Every patient deserves straight forward answers to straight forward questions; if he wants answers as hard as they might be, his MDs are the ones to get it from. Its much better then going on the internet as my husband did and get scared silly by the statistics! (the data may not even be current)
Good luck to you both as you begin this journey; let us know how you and he are doing. God bless,


Posts: 18
Joined: Jul 2008

Lolly -

My Dad was diagnosed with stage 4 EC in June 08. We went through the chemo / radiation for 5 and 1/2 weeks. He was very sick and weak the whole time and needed blood every other week. Anyway, we did find out that the tumor did shrink somewhat but that there was no change to the lymph nodes. We just did a Direct CT Biopsy last Friday to see if the lymph nodes are in fact andenocarcinoma. We find out Thursday if they are. If they are, surgery is out of the question and we discuss further treatments, which my Dad says that he is not going to have anymore treatments. If they are not andenocarcinoma, then we proceed with the surgery - which I am really scared of.

I have found that Cathy's EC Cafe has a lot of stories on there that have helped me and they might help you. I will keep you and your friend in my prayers. If you need to chat with someone please let me know. I tell you what, the chatroom on Cancer Survivors Network is totally awesome - the people on there are extremely nice and are always ready to listen.

As for what it means to be stage 4 EC - I don't know - I received several notes saying that people were shocked to hear that my Dad was doing treatments and talking about having surgery. Everyone's different, I guess. So we are waiting to see what happens next. Please let us know how things are going.

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