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To all of you who have suffered with esophageal cancer my heart goes out to you. My husband was diagnosed Aug 2016 with it. He had 4 strong rounds of chemo then he had his stomach stretched to recreate his esophagus.(1/2017) Within 3 months afterwards he was having a problem swallowing. Fortunately he still had the jtube. He had 6 dilations from March to July. The doctor couldn’t understand why he couldn’t swallow. Finally a stint was placed in his throat. Then he couldn’t breathe they removed the stint because it was being covered by scar tissue then when it was removed both of his vocal folds were paralyzed and then a tracheostomy. At this time we were told there was no cancer. I kept asking this. But thinking back no one really checked. Then we find out after being sent to Stanford the end of July within the scar tissue There was cancer!!! He has not had anything to eat or drink by mouth since. It has been mentioned that if he can be cancer free they will place a stint so that he could eat and swallow his spit. The doctor at Stanford even mentioned another type of surgery but His PETs keep showing up with a little cancer here and there. Then chemo or radiation. The last doctor we saw told us that his cancer was high in his throat where usually it is lower. Then she explains that the longer you stretch a rubber band it is smaller and tighter so my question is, why did he have this surgery since it was so high up? Deep down I feel there were mistakes made along the way. If I had to do this again I would get a 2nd and 3rd opinion. It is just that when you hear cancer you freak out! My husband was very healthy so we never saw hospitals for anything! This was and is all new to us. It is so sad to see him just sit my heart breaks. He can’t swallow, he can hardly talk. He is constantly battling with this trach. I wished I could have said way back then WAIT we need another opinion or two. Good luck to you all and my prayers are with you and your healing. My thought is that esophageal cancer comes on slowly you may have it for quite awhile before you are actually diagnosed so take the time and get that 2nd or 3rd opinion. Ask a lot of questions.

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Replies to "To all of you who have suffered with esophageal cancer my heart goes out to you...."

Hi , my tumor too was very high in my throat , I am now cancer free after radiation , chemo , and keytruda treatments.
I have been on a PEG tube since August 2019 . I recently tried to have a dilation , but the GI doctor said no way , too risky because of all the scar tissue . I have a referral at a big research hospital , but I don’t have much hope . I will most likely have a PEG tube the rest of my life .

But , on the positive side , I am , so they say , cancer free , and I am doing well with the PEG tube . I have no medical credentials, but I would not consume commercial formulae like Jevity exclusively . You get 54% of your calories from corn syrup .

I bought a Vitamix blender , and I eat healthier than I ever have . Research tube feeding recipes , and you will feel 100% better than eating Jevity . I have gained weight , a bit too much , gonnna have to cut back , but I have probably 85% of the energy I had pre cancer .

So sorry to hear what you and your husband are going through! I wonder how he's doing by now. I've found that even though I ask questions, many times the answer is a glum stare, a shrug, or simply, this is one of the long-term effects of radiation treatment. It begins to feel like Drs. treat what they can and they they can be done–they don't have to deal with the aftermath, which is ongoing and terrible.

I am so sorry. So very very sorry for what your husband and you are going through. There seems to be a shortage of knowledgeable doctors out there, especially those who deal with head, neck, thyroid etc. I spoke to a "regular" oncologist once and told him he needed to brush up on thyroid cancer because it was the up and coming cancer. I never saw him again. Oncologists seem to be able to handle all cancers but those concerning the neck. I had a total thyroidectomy and neck dissection in 2012 with RAI treatment two months later. My life has never been the same. I suffered from laryngeal spasms which lock your throat. It took years before I found ONE ent who knew how to stop them. You breathe through your nose and swallow and it breaks the "lock" on your throat !! I have been spreading the word since. I now have a permanently paralyzed vocal cord nerve which for three months made me sound like Minnie Mouse until I accidentally found out that oxycodone relaxed the muscles in my throat and gave me my voice back. That was 11 years ago. I fight every month to get my 5mg 3x/day to take with meals so I can swallow. Doctors nowadays are know-it-all's who know nothing. I also have CLL leukemia. When I finally started meds for that it decreased my nodes everywhere but my throat, which enlarged !!! I have a hole in my heart. They wanted me to have it closed with a device. I, like it sounds like your husband does, scar badly inside my body. I said to the heart surgeon "what happens when my scar tissue starts covering the device and it gets heavier and heavier on my heart ? I've read what has to be done to get the device out. You end up taking part of the heart. Do I want the procedure? No. I'll live with the hole like I have for 68 years " Yet each doctor keeps pushing and pushing me. Unfortunately people don't listen to their bodies. We know them the best. When we are scared we turn to the "experts" expecting them to know what to do. My experience has been that they actually have no clue.
My advice, for what it's worth, is to take your husband to the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins for evaluation. For some reason, and I've never been to either of them, I feel they are the best!
Once again I'm sorry for what they put your husband through. I am furious!!! I advocate so much for myself that I tell people just give me a prescription pad and I will take care of myself, ordering the right tests, labs etc.
Doctors have to stop "practicing" medicine and actually DO it!!