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Bad news

This morning: a 2-line e-mail, letting me know what's wrong with Best Friend's brother. He's been in and out of hospital since November, wasting away. Now they've put a name to it: oesophagal cancer.

He's been scheduled for surgery on the 25th.

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Comments

( 25 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
(Deleted comment)
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
I hope so, too. A Google search on 'oesophagal cancer' tells me there is a good chance of recovery if caught early enough.
pohewa
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:19 am (UTC)
That's horrible news. *hugs*
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)
Isn't it just? The next few weeks are going to be quite scary.
lillianmorgan
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:20 am (UTC)
I'm really sorry to hear this. Sending best wishes to you and them ::hugs::
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Thank you, I appreciate it.
freakspawn
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:39 am (UTC)
am sorry to hear that babe, I hope the surgery goes well.
love_by_137
Jan. 21st, 2006 12:02 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear that Hedwig. I really hope everything will be ok :)
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC)
So do I. I've always gotten along well with Ben, and his failinghealth has been a niggling worry for some time. I'm glad they've finally been able to diagnose his condition, and are doing everything they can to turn it around.
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:31 pm (UTC)
Let's keep our fingers crossed for a good outcome, eh?
whenbuffysmiles
Jan. 21st, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

I'll keep you and him in my thoughts!!
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you; that means a lot.
yin_again
Jan. 21st, 2006 04:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, dear - it's been an awful month all around. *redirects good vibes to your part of the world*
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
And many thanks to you as well. Let's hope all the bad news will stay confined to this month, shall we?
chantal87
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:58 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry.
You are in my thoughts. I hope everything turns out okay.
*HUGS*
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much.

((hugs back))
curiouswombat
Jan. 21st, 2006 06:07 pm (UTC)
That's sad - I do hope that his surgery goes well.
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC)
Thankfully, we shouldn't have too long a wait to know whether they got it all out in time. But it will be hard while we're still waiting.
wackinessensues
Jan. 21st, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC)
Oh honey! My grandfather is battling the same type of cancer right now and it is scary and horrific, but his doctors have given him much hope!

Hopefully your friend will get the same kind of news after his surgery.

*sends hope your way*
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for giving me hope that all will be well; now accept my best wishes for your grandfather's continued improvement!
juno
Jan. 21st, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
oh no -

I don't know what that is but it doesn't sound good -
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC)
It's cancer of the oesophagus, or 'the muscular membranous tube for the passage of food from the pharynx to the stomach; the gullet.'

Thefollowing is gleaned from the Internet:

What are the symptoms of cancer of the oesophagus?

The first symptom of the disease is almost always difficulty in swallowing. There is the feeling that food is getting stuck, often behind the lower end of the breastbone. At first the problem is only with solid food but later even semi-solids and liquids can cause problems.

Pain felt between the shoulder blades can also be troublesome. This discomfort is sometimes triggered by eating.

Another characteristic symptom is regurgitating unaltered food a few minutes after having difficulty swallowing the food. The patient often tries to handle these problems by eating less and avoiding solid food. This causes weight loss and fatigue.

Later on, heartburn, vomiting, and vomiting of blood may become the dominant symptoms. The early symptoms are relatively minor and tend to creep up on patients. This means it is often several months before they consult their doctors.


How is cancer of the oesophagus treated?

Treatment may consist of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of these. The best chance of cure is with surgery. Patients who are in good general condition and who have small tumours, have more than a 25 per cent chance of cure with surgery.

In fit patients with more advanced disease, then the combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy may be used - this can produce cure rates of around 20 per cent.

Unfortunately the majority of patients are not fit for intensive treatment of this type. In their case treatment will be aimed simply at relieving symptoms. This can sometimes be done most easily using a stent.

A stent is simply a kind of tube that is inserted inside the gullet to help keep it open and allow the passage of fluid and food.

There are various kinds available, ranging from a simple plastic tube to a device made of metal mesh that expands once it has been put in place. Stents can be put in place as a simple procedure at the same time as an endoscopy is carried out.

Radiotherapy can also be used to try and shrink the tumour and keep the gullet open for longer.

What is the prognosis?

Overall, the outlook is very poor. The five-year survival rate for cancer of the oesophagus is less than 10 per cent. But patients who are fit enough for intensive treatment may fare rather better with cure rates of 20 per cent or more.

frimfram
Jan. 21st, 2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
So sorry to hear that. I hope for better news for you all soon.
gamiila
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
Thanks, frimfram! We should hear soon enough if the surgery has been successful.
enigmaticblues
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
*hugs*
gamiila
Jan. 22nd, 2006 09:21 am (UTC)
Thanks.
( 25 Speak Like A Child — Shout To The Top )
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