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Possible treatments for metastatic distant tumor

Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2012

I am new to this board. My husband, 54 years old, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Esophageal Cancer on 10/14/10. The tumor was at the GE junction and he underwent an esophagectomy on 11/15/10 in which removed 5" of his esophagus and 30% of his stomach. He underwent chemo and radiation as per the McDonald Regimen and was cancer free as of September 2011. In April 2012, he began complaining of pain in his right arm, armpit and hand. He went to the doctor and was admitted to the hospital on 4/27/12 because his hand and arm were abnormally swollen. His fingers also turned blue. After many tests, CT scans, ultrasounds, xrays and a biopsy, a tumor was discovered in the right axilla. The doctors are calling it Stage 4 because it is the same as the original but since it's far away from the original site, they upped the stage. He had 3 stents placed in his veins to improve blood flow and he underwent 10 rounds of radiation to shrink the tumor. The blood flow has increased and the tumor did shrink a little but not enough to where his arm and hand have stopped swelling. He has very little use of his right arm and the doctors say they are unable to operate to remove the tumor because it is meshed around his nerves. He was discharged from the hospital on 5/30/12 and is currently receiving meds for palliative care.

He has an appointment to see his oncologist on 6/5/12 but we have a feeling chemo will not be an option and the radiation oncologist has given him the maximum number of radiation treatments, so that is not an option anymore, either. All of his doctors state that it is very unusual that the cancer has metasticized in this area and are a little stumped by this.

Does anyone out there know of any other treatments for removing this sort of tumor? I've heard of photodynamic treatments and photon treatments but I'm not sure if these will work or have even been used on tumors that are not in the esophagus. Also, do you know of any other specialists who are knowledgeable in this type of metastasis?


paul61's picture
Posts: 1269
Joined: Apr 2010

I am sorry that I don't have any specific suggestions related to your husband's metastasis, but I wanted to welcome you to our group. There are many people here with a wide experience in managing this disease. Hopefully someone will come forward with some suggestions. Has your husband's tumor even been tested for HER2 protein overexpression? If not you may wish to discuss this option with his oncologist. There have been some promising new treatments in the area recently.

I hope your appointment with your oncologist next week yields some positive options.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
Grand Blanc, Michigan

DX 10/22/2009 T2N1M0 Stage IIB
12/03/2009 Ivor Lewis
2/8 through 6/14/2010 Adjuvant Chemo Cisplatin, Epirubicin, 5 FU
Two year survivor

Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance!

Posts: 19
Joined: Jun 2012

Thanks, Paul. We will be sure to ask about HER2 protein overexpression.

Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2012

We are going through just about the same thing with my daughter. Her arm tumor is getting bigger and is constantly leaking bodily fluids. She is getting chemo now for it but can't get any more radiation. Her arm is pretty much usless because of the tumor around the nerves. I'll look forward to any help you can offer for this situation and will do what I can to help you. Her arm is also very swollen at this time. Thanks.

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