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Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Stage IV esophageal cancer
The father of a friend was diagnosed with esopahgeal cancer. The cancer was removed and there was no evidence of spreading until lymph nodes were checked, 11 of 13 were malignant. He is 75 and underweight, but extremeley positive and has a tremendous belief he can beat this. He feels physically well. His surgeon told him that treatment would probably not help and he has less than a year. He has an appointment with an oncologist soon. What should the family expect? Is there anything that could help prolong his life, possibly cure him, or result in remission? What could they ask or do to get him the best care?
The spread of disease to lymph nodes does not mean he has incurable disease.
Patients with esophageal cancer get treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy first and then surgery. In his case, if he had only surgery, then chemotherapy and radiation should be considered as adjunct to surgery.
Malek Safa, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati