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C.T. scan results

faye082's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi All!

We were able to hear back today about Dad's C.T. scan. Apparently, his oncologist takes Wednesdays off, so he talked with his oncology nurse at Kaiser Permanente. She read him the dictation the doctor had done, and it said " Tumor is demonstrated by a thickening in the distal esophagus." And then she went on to say that the scan reported no metastases that they could see. We were really happy to hear that, but unsure as to exactly what the rest of it meant. She said that the first scan he had was dictated by a different doctor at the hospital as opposed to this one which was interpreted by a Kaiser Permanente doctor so I am wondering if the Kaiser doctor even saw the 1st one and used it for a comparison? the nurse told us that when we meet with the surgeon for Dad's pre-op appointment on the 8th, he would probably be able to explain the scan results more, and I am hoping that we can also speak with the oncologist soon too and hear her opinion. My question is this...What does a "thickening in the distal esophagus" represent? Couldn't a thickening be caused by scar tissue from radiation, etc? Does that mean there is no visible "mass" or "tumor" ? I am so confused! Have the treatments made a difference or not??
The oncology nurse told my dad that if he is able to swallow food easier, (which he is) and if the tumor isn't bleeding anymore (which it's not; and we know this because his blood count is normal and he isn't having black colored stools, vomiting blood, etc.) then that is an indication that the tumor has in fact shrunk. I just feel like this is all very vague and that they should be able to really tell us what's going on. I believe William is absolutely right in wondering why a P.E.T. scan wasn't also done.
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Does a "thickening in the esophagus" mean just that, with no tumor present? Or are we no better off than when we started? It's frustrating to think that after all this time and all these treatments there would be no change. Still, we are thankful for where we are at and that it hasn't spread. Thanks everyone for your prayers and kind words!

Tina Blondek's picture
Tina Blondek
Posts: 1566
Joined: Nov 2009

Hi Faye
Thanks for the recent update on your dad. Glad to hear his good news! It is my thought that the thickening of the esophagus would mean a build up of scar tissue. I know that the chemo and radiation causes scar tissue. I would wait to either see or speak to the actual doctor, and ask him these questions. He would be the one to know the actual results. Best of luck, and keep us updated when you can!

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