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Stage IV EC Stepdad is 75

Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2018

My stepfather was diagnosed with stage iv ec a few weeks ago.....since then we have been in a whirlwind of information.  He is not eligible for surgery and we just found out that they cannot do the radiation as the tumor is too large and too close to his heart/lungs.  They want to proceed with chemo to see if that will shrink the tumor.  He is scheduled for a feeding tube this Thursday, I'm just wondering from everything I'm reading, is it worth getting the feeding tube/treatment or shoud he just enjoy what's left of his life.  He is a smoker and not in the best of health to begin with.  God bless you all who have been through this!

Deathorglory's picture
Posts: 327
Joined: Jul 2013


I'm sorry to hear that your family finds itself in this situation.  There are a couple of things I'd like to point out.  First, make sure your stepdad is tested to determiine his HER2 status.  Most folks are negative, but for those who test positive, there is a drug (herceptin) that can be effective against even stage IV EC.  The first time I had EC, I was stage III and received chemo/radiation, surgery and then bonus chemo.  I still had a recurrence a couple of years later.  The recurrence was stage IV (in a lung) and I was given a very grim prognosis (7-8 months).  I was not eligible for surgery or radiation because the cancer was on the loose.  So it was chemo only.  I was HER2+, so herceptin was added to my course of folfox.  That was 2011.  I just today received the results of my PET/CT scan that I got last week.  There was some concern about a nodule in a lung, but nothing lit up.  I'm seven years from a 7-8 month prognosis and am testing clean, as of this morning.  

With respect to the feeding tube, EC can make eating by mouth difficult or impossible.  I'd suggest that it'd be a worthwhile thing for your stepfather.  It's really not that large of an imposition, and it can really increase quality of life.  Whether or not the treatment is worth it, I'll just say that your stepfather is the captain of that ship.  His wishes are paramount and are what should be honored.

Best Wishes,


Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2018

Thank you Ed!  I will ask the Dr. tomorrow.  Congratulations on your clean test!!

Posts: 9
Joined: Aug 2018

Hi my dad is stage 3 adenocarcinoma esophageal cancer and he is her2 positive and couldnt get the extra meds because of his insurence but he had 6 chemos and 24 radiations now waiting for the month to have his ct and blood work before they figure out if he can have surgery. He got his feeding tube put in 3 weeks ago and we have been back and forth to the doctors and hospital because it leaks puss got infected and when you feed him or flush or put his meds in it hurts and burns. Idk if this is normal for everyone but for my dad it is i guess. His albumin levels still drop with the tube his weight has dropped another 10 lbs since the tube was put in. He has also got copd emphasyma smokes and drinks some. He was admitted in the hospital for netropenia fever and was in there for almost a week. he is home now but he is still loosing weight no matter how much he eats and uses his feeding tube which is on 24-7 and he still eats by mouth just a lot harder to eat by mouth with the cancer. he is stage 3 n 2

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