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Joined: Oct 2012

hello i am from the uk. my mum has recently been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer. She had previously been having difficulty in eating and consistent pain. hence a recent endoscopy highlighted a large tumour on her gullet. The national health oncologist tells us its terminal and she refuses to offer treatment saying that my mum appears weak. as most of you can sympathise words cant really describe this tragic experience. i dont know what to do i refuse to just watch my mum die painfully. Surely there must be some hope. a pet scan revealed the cancer has not spread but it does cover a wide area i think. my mother unfortunately has had a few bouts of melina (blood loss)in the last few days. Everyone keeps telling us its critical. i cant bear to lose hope. Is it worth consulting privare specialists? or shall i just accept this terrible fate? I would appreciate a response especially by a doctor?

TerryV's picture
Posts: 916
Joined: Jul 2011

A very sad welcome to our site. I'm so sorry that you had to find your way here, but you have found one of the most compassionate, caring, and well-informed sites on the Internet for Esophageal Cancer.

Of course get a 2nd opinion. Perhaps even a 3rd. But if treatment is recommended, do move quickly. EC is a beast of a cancer and is very aggressive.

Please know that we are here for you. Others with more experience and knowledge will chime in and offer suggestions. Our prayers and hugs go with you!

PROUD wife to Nick, age 49
lost EC battle, June 19, 2012

Posts: 665
Joined: May 2010

I don't know alot, but, from what I understand, the initial scope and the PET scan may not give the whole picture. There is another scan, the EGD, or something like that which gives the stage of the cancer. This is important information as it oftentimes determines treatment options.

It is important to know the type as well. While strength and support is needed if she can receive treatment, age alone does not rule out treatment as my husband was in his early 70's going through treatment and is still going strong two years post treatment. We are in the US.

If you know the above information, please post here as this will let others maybe have suggestions. And, yes, 2nd opinion can be invaluable. Hope we hear from you. BMGky

paul61's picture
Posts: 1269
Joined: Apr 2010

It is difficult to make recommendations without understanding the specifics of staging of your mother's cancer. However, with a complicated cancer like esophageal cancer there is always value in a second treatment perspective. With esophageal cancer the size of the tumor is not as important as the depth the tumor has penetrated into the esophagus, and weather of not other structures have been involved (.e.g. lymph nodes, other organs, etc).

Initial staging typically involves CT or PET scans to rule out metastasis (spread) of the cancer. In addition, endoscopic ultra sound (EUS) can define the depth of penetration of the tumor into the layers of the esophagus, and asses the lymph nodes in the immediate area of the tumor.

Even if "curative" treatment is not an option for your mother due to her advanced age or advanced development of the cancer; there are other treatment options to slow the advance of the cancer, or at a minimum to reduce your mother's symptoms from the cancer.

Please find below a web site reference that reviews treatment options for oesophageal cancer in the United Kingdom:

Click Here to find treatment options for Oesophageal Cancer in the UK

You will find in this overview that there are treatment options irrespective of the stage of your mother's health or of the esophageal cancer.

Your mother is very fortunate to have you as her advocate at this time.

Best Regards,

Paul Adams
McCormick, South Carolina

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!

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