Esophageal Cancer & Dilations

Posted by aimeef @aimeef, Jan 16 6:07pm

I am 58 and was diagnosed with upper Esophageal cancer in May of 2022. I am blessed after 6 rounds of Chemo & 35 radiation treatments I am in remission. The problem I have now is the radiation caused heavy scar tissue. I have dilations every 4 to 6 weeks at this point as it begins to close in again. Has anyone else had this issue, and if so, did your Dr. have any other options to keep it open longer? They did try a stent however the stricture is so high up. It was painful to keep in and had to be removed a few days later.

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Welcome, @aimeef, congrats on being in remission. Heavy scarring from radiation and getting dilation is something that fellow members @davidwrenn @puprluvr and @lori57216 are familiar with. They may have some tips about the esophagus closing in again, despite dilation.

You might also appreciate the thoughts shared in this related discussion:
– Anyone know of exercises or therapies to improve swallowing? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/therapy-for-swallowing/

Sorry the stent didn't help. What options is your team suggestion next? Have you tried self dilation?

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I had to have mine dialated every month for awhile. Then we figured out that the acid reflux was contributing to the stricture tightening so once that was fairly under control …………. now I go in every 6 weeks. It does get better~~

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@colleenyoung

Welcome, @aimeef, congrats on being in remission. Heavy scarring from radiation and getting dilation is something that fellow members @davidwrenn @puprluvr and @lori57216 are familiar with. They may have some tips about the esophagus closing in again, despite dilation.

You might also appreciate the thoughts shared in this related discussion:
– Anyone know of exercises or therapies to improve swallowing? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/therapy-for-swallowing/

Sorry the stent didn't help. What options is your team suggestion next? Have you tried self dilation?

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Good morning-I did have dilation once several weeks past my surgery and that fixed my swallowing issues. I was also prescribed Prilosec to take care of the acid reflux. I also made changes to my diet such as after my evening meal, I do not lie down for 2-3 hours. You may have to adjust your sleeping schedule and eating schedule to achieve an empty or near empty stomach b4 bedtime. For instance, last night my meal was beans and rice with a baked tomato topped with cheese on top. I slept 9 hours straight thru.

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I myself are in the same boat. I am in hyperbaric treatment right night and am considering self esophageal dilation. Do you have any thought on that. My scar formation was enough I had to have the PEG tube put back in due to weight loss.

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