Esophageal cancer reoccurring

Posted by KARLY @karly, Sep 5, 2017

My husband was diagnosed with esophagus cancer Aug 2016. He had 4 rounds of chemo and surgery in January to remove and reconstruct his esophagus. Has had many problems since, many dilations and even a stint. The latest with the removal of the stint his vocal folds paralyzed and he had to have an emergency tracheotomy, July 2017 but cancer free. Now in one month we find the cancer is back and in a few lymph. He has been referred to Stanford GI Tumor Board. Can anyone help me with questions I can bring before the board? This has been so upsetting and unbelievable! He can't talk, eat/swallow and is having a hard time breathing!

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Hi @karly I wonder how you and your husband are doing? How did the tumor board meeting go? What are the next steps for your husband?


Did you have any news from the board ? Who was the doctor appointed ?
Anyone proposed immunotherapy?
I hope your husband is okay !


Hi Karly,

I think what you have to do is listen to the doctors. Questions will come once you gather the facts from them. The questions may not be immediate but eventually they will pop into your mind and hopefully your doctor(s) are available to you to answer them.

My husband’s story is a bit different. He had a 12 cm tumor in his esophagus, the cancer had spread to 4 lymph nodes as well. He was considered stage 4. His doctor did not opt for surgery in my husband’s case because the recovery period was long and his doctor wanted to start chemo to try to eliminate the cancer not only in his esophagus but his nodes as well. It was a tough go because the chemo was so strong but my husband did well and was declared in complete remission. What we didn’t know however was the cancer had formed a tumor in the brain (cerebellum) which affected his balance. Apparently chemo does not make it to the brain easily and PET scans don’t show brain tumors well. We found this out about this brain tumor more than a year after his diagnosis. He’s fine because he’s a strong man and actually went to work today commuting 1.5 hours to NYC, but he did have brain surgery 10 days ago and will be undergoing gamma knife surgery (a radiation treatment) Friday to eliminate any microscopic cancer cells the surgeon may not have seen. The tumor “popped out like a cork” according to his surgeon so no “digging” was required to remove it. Through his most recent PET scan they saw a thickening in his stomach, 2 spots in his liver and another suspicious looking node. Because the brain tumor was a “mets” of the esophageal cancer, these new PET scan discoveries are also considered malignant. It has been suggested that he undergo immunotherapy rather than the conventional chemo treatment. He has yet to make up his mind which route he wants to take. He will be talking further with his doctors (as will I).

It’s not an easy road this esophageal cancer. I wish you and your husband much luck. Stay strong; I know you will make the right decision for you both. May God bless us all.


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How is you husband? My mom had to start immuno in 2 weeks: she had surgery with clear margin / but they don’t know if there are microscopic cancer cells not detected in scan. To prevent or reduce the recurrence.
What kind of immuno was recommended ?
Thank you and my heart goes to you both !


Hi Angela!
I just did read your post. I am so sorry you guys are going through this and so much! I just hate this cancer!!! We have listened to the doctors but I am thinking they are only human and we are all so unique. What might work for one doesn't always work for the next. Thank you for sharing all you have both gone through. I will keep my ears and eyes open and ask questions . When this first started the surgeon told us that if we had cancer this was the best one to have . From the sounds of it, I don't think you and I know we don't believe that one. Yes, God Bless us all

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After living with esophageal cancer, it’s treatment and recovery we all realize the surgeon’s statement is hard to believe and must be far from accurate from a patient standpoint . 😢

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