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Thread: An Unusual Case of Small Cell Esophageal Cancer

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    Nov 2018

    An Unusual Case of Small Cell Esophageal Cancer

    My mother was feeling unwell, and we were forced to have her admitted to hospital because her sodium level was at 120, while a normal level is between 135 and 145. After a number of tests and days spent monitoring and regulating her sodium levels, she was diagnosed with Syndrome of Inappropriate Antidiuretic Hormone (SIADH), which causes life-threatening, low sodium levels.

    After spending almost a week in the hospital on a restricted fluid intake, and undergoing many CT scans, she was sent home with urea which is a medicine that is meant to help correct her SIADH condition. This seemed to help for a limited time, but after finishing the dosage she began feeling the same symptoms as before (nausea, weakness, and incoherence).

    I took her back to Emergency and after bloodwork her sodium level was at 116. During this admission to the hospital they performed a barium swallow x-ray, and the doctors found an abnormality in her esophagus/stomach. After, they proceeded with a scope and biopsy of the affected area. Once receiving many sodium IV drips, my mother’s sodium reached safer levels, and was sent home. Now we just had to wait for the results of the biopsy.

    She was forced only days after to be readmitted to the hospital because the effects of the SIADH. While in hospital, the biopsy results came back showing that she had small cell carcinoma of the esophagus, which is a rare and aggressive disease. Only one other person in our city had dealt with a similar diagnosis.

    Because of the location of the tumour and type of cancer she was told that surgery would be out of the question. After performing more CT scans, they found several lesions in the right and left lobes of the liver, and the cancer had metastasized to the lymph nodes as well.

    My mother began her chemotherapy treatment which lasted a total of three days and corrected her SIADH almost immediately. It is of note that the saline drips were struggling to control the SIADH during this last admission. Now, after three weeks she is just beginning her second round of chemo.

    This is where we are currently in her journey. We want to reach out for the small chance that anyone out there has been diagnosed or knows anyone facing the same type of rare cancer as my mother. Any type of advice, information, or help is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by po18guy; 11-10-2018 at 03:24 AM. Reason: paragraphs added for clarity


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