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What does this mean?

Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

FYI- my husband is the one who has the recurrent esophageal cancer.

On my husbands last PET scan on Oct 8, 2010 it said He has a moderate sized left sided pleural effusion. He did have fluid drained from him thru a thorocoscopy on Sept 28th with his surgeon before the PET scan. The surgeon then put talc in him to stop the leak. That is when he said he had malignant adenecarcinoma in the fluid and tissue they biopsied at the time of the thoroscopy.

The Impression reads:

1) There is a subtle area of activity seen on the image to the esophogus on the right side. There is some confluent soft tissue in this region. Only a small portion of this however demonstrates FDG accumulation. This could be a reactive Lymph node. The possiblity of a mestastic disease lymph node cannot be entirely excluded. It has a max SUV of 2.

2) There is FDG accumulation along the right pleural space involving the major fissure as well as the lateral aspect of the pleural space. This is most likely inflammatory. There is moderate-sized left-sided pleural effusion with consolidation of the left lower lobe. Theses areas demonstrate no FDG accumulation. No eveidence of mestastic disease is identified.

Normal activity in the liver, spleen, kidneys and bowel. No areas of abnormal accumulation are identified.

As I stated before the surgeon said this in incurable, inoperative and chemo may put this in remission. Not for long tho as he will die from this. The prognosis is not good. That is what they told us.

Does it mean that all recurrent cancers are Stage IV? and have this same prognosis?
Does it also mean that if someone goes into a remission can the stage IV be downgraded if the chemo is successful? I am really confused about this.

My husband stated chemo on Tuesday. There was a delay as the local surgeon had an emergency and could not put the port in until later in the morning. So on Tuesday he got 4 hrs of taxotere. Then on Wednesday he got the rest of the taxotere and all the cisplatin. He came home yesterday with his F5U pack but will only wear it for 48 hrs this week as tomorrow is Friday. He will not go back again until Nov 15th( this will be a 3 week break instead of 2 ) for his regular treatment and then will be on a 21 day cycle. They said at the cancer center his short week this week would not hurt him. I hope they are right.
So far so good with the chemo but he is so tired. We think the thoroscopy and the stent put in and out and back in again really took a tole on his energy level.
He is sooooo sort of breath. He NEVER was before all of this.

Anyhow we are praying he gets thru this and pray for all of you on this site. You are ALL angels as this BEAST is the Devil and we need to take him out.

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Posts: 377
Joined: Oct 2010

Thank you Sherri,
I am so sorry for you with Jim having to deal with this for so long. How is his quality of life? Will this crappy feeling ever end?

Our second opinion was with our oncologist. He feels that Vince may go into a good remission but I do need to know what all of this means. When the surgeon took the biopsies they must have been accurate.
I have No Faith in PET scans anymore because the more I read about small areas of activity it seems that many PET scans do not pick them up.
That is why in August with that Pet Scan we thought he was cancer free.
I know we can beat this and you too but does it get easier? I am really tired and just plain frustrated with the response of most drs when you say esophageal cancer. They all seem to say well you know if he goes into remission eventually it will come back.
It seems like all stage iv's are that way.

I don't mean to sound like I am giving up. Failure is not an option, I just wish they would publish more good news.

You seem very grounded and doing well so that gives me hope. Thank you and God Bless you

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sandy1943's picture
Posts: 883
Joined: Jun 2010

I understand about reading the scan results. I have a hard time with then. I'm bad about not asking questions. That's why this site means so much to me. I,m learning.
When I was given my ct scan results Mon., I was by myself for the first time. I didn't ask one question. Now there is a lot, I wish I had asked. I'm going armed with questions next wed. when I go for pet scan results. Hope the chemo is going well.

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