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Thread: Esophageal Cancer Confimed

  1. #1

    Angry Waiting 4-6 weeks for biopsy results?!

    Hi, I'm after advice about my mother. On Wednesday she had an upper endoscopy and biopsies were taken. Before the procedure we were told that results usually take 4-6 weeks unless they suspect something else in which case its a "different kettle of fish" as the nurse put it. When we left we got a copy of the report which said suspected cancer. Until this point nobody had mentioned cancer and it was a bit of a shock, but I'm now worried that we have to wait up to 6 weeks for results?

    My mother is nearly 61 and has had trouble eating since November due to a separate medical condition, and has lost a lot of weight. But recently she has had pain in her chest area/oesophagus and is now scared of eating solid food at all as she feels as though she can't breathe and often brings it back up.

    As I said she is nearly 61 and I am worried about her health as it is. She also has a persistent cough which I believe could be related to esophageal cancer. She is on resource drinks from the doctor which she can manage to get down but can she really survive like this for another 4-6 weeks while we wait for results?

    I've done my research on esophageal cancer but there is so much to take in. Any advice from somebody who has been through this before would be helpful.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Top User po18guy's Avatar
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    Sorry to welcome you here under such circumstances. If you can, you might try calling back and asking for clarification of just what it was they were trying to tell you. If cancer is suspected, I would consider one week to be a more appropriate turnaround time. Time would appear to be of the essence, especially in light of her co-morbidities.
    05/08-07/08 Tumor appears behind left ear. Followed by serial medical incompetence on the parts of PCP, veteran oncologist and pathologist (misdiagnosis via non-diagnosis). Providential guidance to proper care at an NCI designated comprehensive cancer center.
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    05/2017 Chronic anemia (low hematocrit). Chronic kidney disease. Cataracts from radiation and steroids.
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    To date: 1 cancer, relapse, second relapse/mutation into 2 cancers, then 3 cancers simultaneously, 20 chemotherapy/GVHD drugs in 11 regimens (4 of them at least twice), 5 salvage regimens, 4 clinical trials, 5 post-transplant immuno-suppressant/modulatory drugs, the equivalent of 1,000 years of background radiation from 40+ CT series scans and about 24 PET scans.
    Both lymphoid and myeloid malignancies lend a certain symmetry to the hematological journey.

    Believing in the redemptive value of suffering makes all the difference.

  3. #3
    that sounds like a long time to me.... I too would call them back and ask about results in a week.

    I will say this... no news is good news in general terms. Some tests to take a few weeks to come back. Its when they are calling you back in 24 hours and wanting you to come in for more tests or consult with you that i always have found to be bad.

    good luck with your mom.
    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

    Only I will remain.

  4. #4
    Thank you both for your reply.
    I took her to the doctor Monday morning to see if any results were back and there was nothing. Not heard from them since, which I guess as you say no news is good news? I will call tomorrow to see if the doctor has the results back yet. Fingers crossed!

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Top User Baz10's Avatar
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    I don't know where you are located, therefore turnaround times vary substantially.
    It may be worthwhile telling which country you are located.

    If it is the US for instance them I can't comment as others here will be able to give specific timetables.

    If it is in the UK, then I can give you the best way forward as it can be confusing. Yet there are clear guidelines.from what you say, I agree with all the others to push the case.
    Barry
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    Not all's rosy in the garden, but see following.
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    and dodging bullets in the meanwhile, too many bullets at moment.

  6. #6
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    In 2007 I waited 1 month for the pathology report and they still got it wrong. They said Marginal Zone Lymphoma, but when it relapsed 6 years later they compared old slides with the new slides and said it was Follicular Lymphoma all along. Some biopsies can be difficult I guess.
    66y female, dx @43 in 1992 - DLBCL (aggressive lymphoma) CHOP x 6, rads x 20. 2007- Follicular Lymphoma (FL) grade1-2, stage 2, rads x 20. 2013 relapsed FL, grade 1-2, stage 4. R-bendamustine x 6. Finished Jan 2015. Rituxan maintenance till 2017. 11/2014 bladder cancer, surgery end of Jan 2015.

  7. #7
    Administrator Top User Kermica's Avatar
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    Before the procedure we were told that results usually take 4-6 weeks unless they suspect something else in which case its a "different kettle of fish" as the nurse put it.
    Hi there daughter and welcome, though I am sorry you have reason to be here. It seems to me that, since the report said suspected cancer, then the quote above would apply. Be the squeaky wheel for your Mom. If, at first, you don't succeed then do try, try again. Talk to the nurse, I would doubt the doc will have much to say until the pathology is back. But, if the nurse said a suspicious initial impression speeds things up and you have a suspicious initial impression then feel free to press them for the answers. It is always good to remember that the care team works for us, not the other way around.

    Good luck to your Mom in all aspects of this...and good health to you both,

    kermica
    When the world says, "Give up," Hope whispers, "Try it one more time."
    ~Author Unknown

    Age 67
    Follicular lymphoma diagnosed August 08, Stage 1
    2 cycles (20 treatments each) localized radiation to tumor sites. Remission confirmed July 09
    Restaged to Stage 3 May 2010
    Recurrence confirmed May 2010 - Watch and Wait commenced - multiple scans with minimal progression.
    Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma diagnosed September 2012. Mohs surgical excision 09/2012. Successful, clean edges all around.
    Significant progression detected in PET scan - December 2012
    Biopsy to check for transformation 1/18/2013 - negative for that but full of lymphoma, of course.
    July 2013 - Rescan due to progression shows one tumor (among many) very suspect for transformation, another biopsy 8/12/13.
    August 2013 - No evidence of transformation, 6 courses of B+R commence 8/29 due to "extensive, systemic disease".
    February 2014 - Diagnostic PET scan states: Negative PET scan. Previous noted hypermetabolic cervical, axillary, iliac and inguinal lymphadenopathy has resolved. Doctor confirms full remission.
    June 2014 - started 2 year maintenance Rituxan, 1 infusion every 3 months. Doctor confirms lump under right arm are "suspicious" for recurrent disease, deferring scans for now.
    February 2015 - Doc and I agreed to stop R maintenance as it is depressing my immune system too much.
    June 2015 - Confirm that the beast is back by physical exam, will scan in August after esophageal issues settle down so we can get a clear view.
    August 2015 - physical exam in error, PET/CT shows no evidence of disease. Remission continues well into second year!
    December 2015 - Cardiologist tells me I have plaque buildup growing at an alarming rate. Stent or bypass down the road but not yet...
    March 2016 - new tumor below the jaw so remission is over. Back to active surveillance until treatment is needed.
    June 2016 - C/T scan indicates presence of multiple lesions in iliac chain.
    August 2016 - PET/CT shows multiple areas of lymphoma as expected plus new areas of concern in bowel.
    January 2017 - C/T scan shows significant progression in cervical and inguinal lymph chains, largest tumor is impacting hearing, measures 2.1x4.6 cm. 4 to 8 cycles of R-CVP, 1x3weeks to commence 2/6/17.
    April 2017 - Mid treatment scan shows about 1/3 reduction in multiple tumors. Also shows abdominal aortic aneurysm with peripheral thrombus. Cardiologist changed meds, spoke of need for surgical repair down the road.
    September 2017 - finished 10 rounds of R-CP, V was stopped due to neuropathy in feet. No further treatment planned at this time, at least 10 tumors can be felt which seem to be growing again.
    December 2017 - Biopsy of external iliac node with SUV of 13.1 shows no transformation! However, the FL grade is now 3A instead of Gr 1-2. Will start indefinite protocol using Copanlisib, one of the new targeted therapies. I remain hopeful.
    March 2018 - Copanlisib failed, treatment stopped 3/28. New plan is to go to Dana Farber on 4/16 for case review and treatment recommendation.

    May 2018 - did not qualify for clinical trials at Dana Farber. Tumors need to get larger to be considered. On consultation w/Dr. Armand at DF and my onc, have decided to take a break from cancer treatments. Will have a biopsy of the mass in my sinus discovered in scan at DF and to get the aneurysm repaired as it has developed a potentially catastrophic penetrating ulcer. Surgery scheduled for 7/12.

    September 2018 - biopsy of mass in nose shows transformed DLBCL throughout. Assessing options for this negative development.

    October 2018 - started 6 to 8 cycles of R-CHOP. Goal is to get to full remission to open up other options.

    February/March 2019 - PET shows four hot spots following R-CHOP. referred to Dana Farber for stem cell transplant. Pre testing all good, accepted for Auto Transplant. Will begin inpatient process about April 1.

  8. #8
    My mum went back to the doctors yesterday again and still no results. Her upper endoscopy was 3 weeks ago now! I know no news can be good news but in the mean time my mother is suffering.
    She is still struggling to eat solid food and even things like milkshake gives her a bit of trouble now. She has pain/ discomfort in her stomach and oesophagus pretty much all the time now and us taking 3 different tablets for gastritis.

    Baz10 I'm in the UK if you can help?

  9. #9
    Ok, so I know I only posted this morning but I have an update. My mum received a phone call from the hospital today and was asked to go straight in, she was told she has cancer. The reason we have had to wait 3 weeks for the results it because the doctor that took the biopsies during the upper endoscopy didn't rush through the results as he didn't think it was cancer because the lumps were only slightly raised.

    I know 4 biopsies were taken, I don't know how many are cancerous?

    So if the doctor didn't think it was cancer because the lumps were only slightly raised, can this potentially mean we have caught it early? Or could it mean that it's further through the wall?

    Unfortunately I wasn't will her at her appointment today as she got the call to go in while I was at work and didn't tell me!!! So now I'm relying on her to relay the information to me.

    She has an appointment next week for a CT scan, and she is also going to be seeing a dietician soon (she is otherwise healthy other than the weight loss from not being able to eat solid foods, but obviously can't afford to loose any more weight). She is also waiting to have a second upper endoscopy now with a camera that can see all the way around rather than the one that can only see straight down, this will also be able to tell us a bit more hopefully.

  10. #10
    I am so sorry its come back cancer. I dont know if it has been caught early or not.... the doctor will have to tell you that. The CT scan will be able to tell you more about what is going on in your moms body.


    Hang in there hun.....
    I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

    Only I will remain.

 

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