My wife is 4 months from the radiation and chemo treatments for esophageal cancer. The tumor has reduced and she’s able to swallow very soft foods. My question is, anyone know of exercises or therapies to improve swallowing?
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Hi. I have trouble swallowing due to several problems with my esophagus, and a nurse told me that it is speech therapists who help you with swallowing. Only takes one or two sessions. It was very helpful to me. Hope it might help your wife. Best wishes to you both.
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Thank you very much your post, we’ll pursue that approach.
@dsd1939, I agree with @cookierockwell, Speech Therapist, sometimes called speech–language pathologists (SLPs), is a good place to start. They are health professionals who identify, diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders across the lifespan. There are few related discussions on Mayo Clinic Connect in other groups related to other conditions that you might find helpful:
– Parkinson's and Speech/Swallowing Problems https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/parkinsons-and-speechswallowing-problems/
– Dysphagia (swallowing issues) after intubation: What therapies work? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/dysphasia/
Bringing this back to esophageal cancer and swallowing issues, I'm tagging additional members like @luckyhunterjs @puprluvr @keith123 @walisky and @motek, who dealt with swallowing issues, some of whom sought the guidance of a speech pathologist.
DSD, have you heard of esophageal stretching?
After being diagnosed for esophageal cancer Dec 2018, I underwent chemo, proton radiation and an esophagectomy at Mayo Clinic April 2019. Over a year later I had minor issues swallowing. I returned to Mayo for an endoscopy and a dilation of my esophagus. I have not had any swallowing issues since and also no evidence of cancer detected at my last CT exam in October of this year! I’m grateful to Mayo Clinic and thankful to God for life everyday.
Exact same timeline as me right down to the month of surgery. We more than likely had the same surgeon also
(Dr. Wigle / Wagle). Several dialations and the year is 2022, my throat now has started acting up regarding an itchy, tickly sensation and the coughing is almost non stop. Seems nothing stops it and I can't figure out why it even started. Even the EGD dr. couldn't detect anything abnormal. It's so very annoying, keeps me from getting good sleep.
On March 27, 2023 I was diagnosed Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma stage III. I’m on Chemo /week and radiation therapy, 28 days.
I’m getting pain in my esophagus when I swallow and I constantly coughing.
Due to the tumor are swelling and I noticed this week my saliva will not go down to my throat and I keeps drooling. I have to go 3times a week of IV HYDRATION.
I lost weight from 120lbs. to 98lbs. I don’t have any energy, ensure and boost is my daily foods intake and now this week in my 5week of radiation I can’t drink it anymore it will cause excruciating pain in my esophagus.
May 17 is my last chemo radiation treatment.
Please let me know is anyone have the same experience or advice that can mentally support me. God Bless and thank you.
Has anyone experienced inconsistent swallowing with adenocarcinoma esophageal cancer? My brother cannot swallow during the day and can only swallow at night. If you have, do you know what causes it? If so, can you please share if you had a remedy?
I had cancerous tumor in lower esophagus and also had 28 days of chemo and radiation. After 6 weeks of introductory chemo, the tumor shrunk 40%. I also had similar symptoms. I could not swallow whole food, so I got feeding tube and used it for several months as I also could not swallow Ensure or Boost. I was constantly coughing up phelm and was always tired. I lost about 20 pounds, but I did not have serious pain. It took about 6 weeks after treatment before I really started feeling better. I pray you start feeling better. Let me know if I can help answer questions?
I started the chemo rad treatment Sept. 26 last year for the same cancer. It was such aggressive treatment and I ended up not being able to keep anything down by the end of chemo w one week to go of proton therapy. I ended up in the hospital on IVs for a week afterwards, and finally able to keep food and drink down. Please know that this therapy takes a toll on your body and chemo can cause muscle atrophy. I lost 20 pounds in two weeks, was inactive, and I am still trying to recover my strength, especially in my shoulders. I was referred to PT, and I recommend this for those who lose muscle from such dramatic weight loss and atrophy. Keep us posted.
From my wife’s recent experience, I think you can have faith that the radiation is effectively killing the cancer cells. Her worst weeks were the last week of radiation and the two weeks afterwards. Then, the inflammation seemed to quickly reduce, and before long she was eating completely normally again and feeling much, much better. That continued until her surgery. So she had a good period of time to recover and feel well prior to surgery. I hope the same will be true for you!
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