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Doctor insights on: Pet Esophageal Cancer Initial Staging

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What does a pet scan of my esophageal cancer show that a CT scan doesn't?

What does a pet scan of my esophageal cancer show that a CT scan doesn't?

Metastasis: A pet scan is helpful in identifying metastasis of the cancer, or spread to other organs such as the liver or bone, as well as spread to adjacent or distant lymph nodes. Abnormal images on the pet scan will glow with metabolic activity. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
4,223 doctors shared insights

Cancer (Definition)

Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more


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If I get radiation and chemotherapy for my esophageal cancer and have clean CT and pet scans, will I still need surgery?

If I get radiation and chemotherapy for my esophageal cancer and have clean CT and pet scans, will I still need surgery?

Maybe: Therapy for esophageal cancer is dependent on the stage. There are IV relative stages. In the physically fit patient, the upfront therapy for stage i and iia is surgery. For stages iib and iii, the therapy of choice is chemoradiation followed by surgery. For stage iv, chemotherapy +/- radiation and no surgery. That being said 15-20% have complete eradication of tumor after chemoradiation. ...Read more

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Living with Skin Cancer (Checklist)

Avoid sun exposure between 10 am and 2 pm
daily
Apply sunscreen
2x day
Wear a hat outdoors on sunny days
daily
See dermatologist for check ups
2x year
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How much time would esophageal cancer take to develop?

How much time would esophageal cancer take to develop?

Several years: No lesion begins on initial transformation. There is a premalignant state where the cells appear normal and then a transformation to dysplastic cells which eventually convert to the malignant phenotype which is in-situ. Transformation to the invasive state takes a further period of months if not longer. An invasive esophageal cancer would probably take 3-5 years to evolve and become symptomatic. ...Read more

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What are the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer?

What are the most common symptoms of esophageal cancer?

Pain: The most common symptoms are pain, food getting caught and weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor. ...Read more

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Managing Pain from Cancer (Checklist)

Ask oncologist to refer you to cancer pain specialist
Once
Ask pain specialist about both interventional and medication options
Once
If pancreatic cancer, ask about a celiac plexus block
Once
If neuropathy, request trial of ketamine-based topical creams
Once
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What are the final stages of life like with esophageal cancer?

What are the final stages of life like with esophageal cancer?

Not nice: Local growth may prevent swallowing even one's own saliva. The idea of gastric tube feeding seems a solution, but prolongs a life of suffering. Esophca can also metastasize. Weight loss, energy loss, weakness, dehydration. Palliative care and hospice help minimize suffering and focus on symptom relief. ...Read more

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Is esophageal cancer treatable?

Is esophageal cancer treatable?

Yes: Definitely treatable. They approach to treatment will vary according to the stage of the disease. ...Read more

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How do you prevent esophageal cancer?

How do you prevent esophageal cancer?

Depends on type: Squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus for the most part is casued by smoking, consuming alcohol, nitrosamines, such as pickled foods and smoked meats. Avoid or limit the above risk factors, especially smoking and excessive alcohol. Adenocarcinoma is casued by acid reflux. Diet modication and antiacids help reflux. If you have barrett's metaplasia, then you should be in an endoscopy program. ...Read more

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How fast esophageal cancer tumor grow?

How fast esophageal cancer tumor grow?

Fast: From unseen to obstructing in a year is possible. ...Read more

Staging (Definition)

Many diseases have specific treatments based on their severity. A disease can have certain criteria to determine their severity and applying this criteria to determine how advanced the disease state is called staging. Most commonly this is applied to cancer, and be determining how far the cancer has spread locally and/or to distant sites a stage of cancer can be ...Read more


Dr. David Cooke
206 doctors shared insights

Esophageal Cancer (Definition)

Esophageal cancer is cancer of the esophagus, which is a muscular tube-like structure that connects the throat to the stomach. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing, vomiting, and coughing. Long standing heartburn may lead to changes in the tissue of the esophagus that is associated with higher risk of cancer. Tobacco and alcohol ...Read more