my father presented to the ED with SOB was worked up for cardiac and pulmonary etiology. was diagnosed early with pneumonia and a chest CT was done to rule out P.E. CT showed no evidence of P.E. but did show approx 11 cm mass around the lower portion of the esophagus. E.D Doctor presented to my father the diagnosis of esophageal cancer. My father was admitted and was seen by gen Surgeon in the a.m. Gen Surgeon the did a Endoscopy with biopsy of 2 diff areas of the mass both of which were neg for cancer. Peg tube was placed for later chemo indwelling cath was placed and cone chest tube was placed for drainage of fluid due to according to surgeon of the tumor causing irritation of the pleural sac. My father had no diff swallowing, no chest pain or retrosternal pain, no elevated calcium, all labs WNL, or any related symptoms. has a HX of acid reflux which he was taking zantac for. Was told by suegeon that the neg biopsies ment nothing and that the way to diagnose esophageal cancer was CT presentation the size of the mass on CT and that to put no reliance on the neg biopsy. Basically was led to believe that palliative care was the only option. Help, am I wrong in wondering if there are other oprions out there. The surgeon actually seemed to be offended when we told her we would seek a second opinion. Any additions to this would be greatly appreciated. Not ready to give up on my father yet. the one my family always named THE ROCK.
The presenting feature of esophageal cancer is difficulty in swallowing. Substantial weight loss, burning pain, husky voice, regurgitation of food, vomiting up blood and cough are some of the other symptoms.
The diagnosis is made by barium swallow and endoscopy which show a growth in the esophagus. The diagnosis is confirmed by histological examination of the biopsy.
Since your father has no symptoms and the biopsy is negative I would also advise you to seek a second opinion on this.
There can be other possibilities also for the mass it can be enlarged lymph nodes for example.
Do keep us posted! Let me know if you need more information.
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