There is no “standard” set of expectations
After being diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer, there are common issues that are experienced by most patients and survivors — but there is no guarantee that everyone will experience these issues. The frequency and severity of these issues are different from patient to patient, but should be recognized for their high prevalence.
For patients after surgery, the following issues are most notable:
- Esophageal Dilatation: after surgery, the newly reconstructed esophagus may need to be stretched out to accommodate swallowing
- On-Going Acid Reflux: with or without surgery, the amount of reflux should be monitored; measures should be taken to limit reflux.
- Dumping Syndrome: after surgery, the digestive track is sensitive to sugars, which ingested can cause fevers, sweats, loss of vision, nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea.
For patients treated with Chemotherapy, the following issues are most notable:
- Neuropathy: after certain chemotherapy regiments for esophageal cancer, a numbness or complete lack of feeling can affect extremities such as hands or feet. If neuropathy is experienced, you should inform your oncology team. Neuropathy may continue even after treatment has ceased.
The issues listed here are common and should be noted by patients and caregivers. See the Community Discussion on issues to see what other EC survivors are saying.
Author: Brian Galgay, ECAA Board Member and Esophageal Cancer survivor of 3+ years