CSN Login
Members Online: 1

You are here

Coronavirus/COVID-19

What cancer patients, their families, and caregivers need to know about COVID-19.

New Here....need advice...esophogus scare

acarp3118's picture
acarp3118
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2019

 

Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2019

38....was a smoker 15 years..quit this year..light smoker....drinker, beer and shots, once a week or so...drink alot of coffee/caffeine

I am pretty worried....notice a small hard lump on right side of neck ...like 4 years ago....still there...i have gone to doctors numerous times....told me I have Gerd. Over the years, my throat is always sore....at the end of my throat right before it goes under breastbone....throat is super irritated....when I drink coffee it gives me a sharp pain on left side of throat below my voice box.  Now I have noticed another hard lump right beside the other one....and have another on my left side...same place....they are postior cervical nodes...i have another under my right ear that isn't hard.... But is flat and about an inch in size....the hard ones are only about bean size...they don't stick out...but I can set feel them....my right side of neck also is dull sore feeling....all along my jugular vein are...radiates down into my traps....my tonsils are also always swelled.

 

I was scoped a year ago...and nothing was found....but my continued symptoms have got me pretty worried....u search the internet and all of my symptom a are spot on esophagus cancer....but doctors just blow me off it seems, or just tell me it's nothing....but wtf, how in the hell can I have all these hard lymph nodes and a sore throat all the time....has anyone else had a similar experience like this.....

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1367
Joined: Apr 2010

Swollen lymph nodes and continual sore throat are not “typical” symptoms of esophageal cancer.

Typical esophageal cancer symptoms include difficulty swallowing with a feeling of food being “stuck” half way down your esophagus. Hiccups while eating and food coming back up shortly after swallowing. And a feeling of pain as food passes from the top of the esophagus into the bottom of the esophagus or stomach area.

However, if you are concerned; and you certainly should be if you are having continual symptoms, you need to find a gastroenterologist who is going to take your symptoms seriously and order an endoscopy with biopsies to eliminate cancer as a cause.

Unfortunately, many primary care physicians dismiss esophageal cancer in younger men (under 50) because until recently esophageal cancer was considered an “old man's disease”. A “typical” esophageal cancer patient is a white male, over 65, with a history of GERD and/or obesity. That is no longer the case. More and more people of both sexes are being diagnosed with esophageal cancer at younger ages. Given your symptoms, something is going on that needs to be addressed. Either a chronic infection that is causing your throat inflammation and swollen lymph nodes; or some systemic issue that is affecting your overall immune system response.

If you have a "dismissive" physician then dismiss him or her and find someone that will work with you to eliminate your issues. A good first step would be to get that endoscopy so you can relieve your current anxiety and more forward.

When I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer my symptoms were:

  • Frequent middle of the night acid reflux episodes
  • Chronic heart burn
  • Hiccups shortly after beginning to eat
  • Food getting “stuck” after swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Occasional pain when swallowing at the bottom of my esophagus (under my breastbone)

Wishing you the best of luck getting this resolved.

Regards,

Paul

acarp3118's picture
acarp3118
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2019

Thanks for reply,

 

I am actually going to a new Dr. on the 23rd....so hopefully we can sort this out.  I am just going to tell them to scope me, and not take a dismissive response.  There is def something going on, I can feel something in my throat, when I swallow....a few seconds after I swallow that is.  I feel it only on one side, it's giving me a sharp stinging sensation.  

I have read others who have said they felt similar things, as for not chocking, I am maybe just wondering if there is something there, and it just hasn't got big enough to trap food.  Also, I don't think that this was brought on by GERD as with most other people....it seems my case was smoking way to much, drinking way to much liqour, and way to much hot coffee....i quit the smoking awhile ago, and dont drink shots anymore, I am trying really hard to turn the coffee down, or at least not drink it hot.

Something is def up though, I know my body enough to know that something just isn't right, these hard lymph nodes got me pretty worried.  I have done alot of reading and throat cancer tends to metastasize to cervical nodes....so just saying, there are alot of signs as I said with my earlier post, and I have alot of risk factors that I just didn't care about enough, or was kinda clueless about.

Anyway, I really hope you are right, I don't feel I am being to crazy about it, just need to get this figured out....sure 38 is young.  But I have, well at least was a person who lived like a rock star, alot longer and often than I should have.  Like I said, I got a new Dr on the 23rd, so we shall see.

Your comments are a great help, I am really hoping that's its nothing, regardless, this has opened my eyes to the fact that life is short, enjoy it, and try to make good decisions on how to be here as long as you can.

Thanks

ChiefB
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 2019

Diagnosed November 2016.  I couldn’t Eat without throwing up cotton balls.  Endoscope showed lesion.  8 weeks chemo along with radiation.   Surgery for removal of cancer and reattaching my my stomach.  Lifelong Gerd / reflux

DSB
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2019

I was having difficulty swallowing, my ENT thought it was reflux, however it was esophageal cancer, after a barium swallow and ct scan, then a biopsy.  I am fully recovered now.  I would reccomend to get a PET scan.  It will show if it is cancerous.  Most hospitals have financial assistance. even with insurance, thos things can be really expensive.  Good luck to you!  There have been a lot of advancements with cancer treatments, hang in there, but get it diagnosed early.

 

Karter@99
Posts: 5
Joined: Sep 2019

As I write this, my husband and I just came back from a consultation with a doctor at the University of Michigan.  I am feeling rather defeated as the doctor, who is a thoracic surgeon, hadn't even read the petscan, but said he was guessing he has Stage III or IV EC.  A team of approximately 30 doctors will meet on October 25th to determine the course of treatment, but felt surgery isn't an option.  We won't go back to see them until October 30th.  I feel this is a race against time, and feel this is too long to wait and we should find some place different, like Mayo or MD Anderson.  Am I wrong in feeling this way?  Thank you so much.

 

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1367
Joined: Apr 2010

Hello Karter,

University of Michigan is one of the top five centers for treatment of esophageal cancer. When we are first diagnosed it always seems like getting started with treatment takes forever. However, two weeks is not a long time for the tumor board to meet and to discuss the best approach for treatment based on your husband's current staging. Your medical oncologist will take the lead in managing your husband's treatment in the early stages with additional meetings with a thoracic surgeon if appropriate later. If you don’t feel the treatment plan is aggressive enough when you meet the your oncologist you could always get a second opinion from one of the other centers. Since you are at University of Michigan I assume you are in the Michigan area so Mayo, Cleveland Clinic, and UPMC in Pittsburg would be good options close to you.

Your husband has probably had this tumor for some time before his symptoms lead him to get an endoscopy. A couple additional weeks to get the treatment plan right is certainly acceptable. I had esophageal cancer 10 years ago and I know the time to begin treatment seems to take a long time but once you get started things will move along quickly.

Best Regards,

Paul

Subscribe to Comments for "New Here....need advice...esophogus scare"