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Cancer: Esophageal Message Board
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Old 12-14-2012, 07:39 AM   #1
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Chemo and Radiation

What is the point of chemo and radiation before a resection? Friend was assured that 50% of people with EC will not need the resection. I find that hard to believe. Does anyone believe that figure?
Of course he needed the resection after all. Was the intensive chemo and radiation a waste of time, money. and stamina?

Is it just cookie-cutter medicine that allocates everyone to chemo and radiation before surgery? Or does it make medical sense to anyone?

Maybe I'm old school but it seems to me that surgery either "gets it all or it doesn't?"

Last edited by Voxx976; 12-14-2012 at 08:04 AM.

 
Old 12-14-2012, 01:20 PM   #2
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Re: Chemo and Radiation

The chemo and radiation before surgery is usually an attempt to shrink the tumor as much as possible therefore mitigating the extent of surgical removal.

 
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:00 AM   #3
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Re: Chemo and Radiation

I am a current survivor of Stage IV Esophageal Cancer - EC (3 1/2 years out and 5 years from original diagnosis ). My cancer had spread to a distant lymph node. So, before I was even given the chance to resection surgery, which as I understand the only known cure for EC, the highest probability for long survival. I had to go through both chemo and radiation. In fact, they would not do EC resection without this first procedure. As it was explained to me the mechanism of esophageal cancer and its metastasis is not well understood and statistically they have not seen a high success rate if resection is done without chemo and radiation (I am sure staging is part of the equation) where EC will even sometimes metastasized faster after surgery without. So statistically, there is higher probability of success for longer survival if chemo and radiation are done first. EC resection surgery is very invasive and the recovery can be long – it will zap all your systems.

 
Old 12-21-2012, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: Chemo and Radiation

Quote:
The chemo and radiation before surgery is usually an attempt to shrink the tumor as much as possible therefore mitigating the extent of surgical removal.
Since resection removes the entire esophagus, it seems pointlss to me to worry about whether a tumor is 1 centimeter or 2 centimeters in diameter. The resection is a rather gross kind of surgery.

Staging:
They make is sound precise and stage for one or two and STILL do extensive chemo and radiation before inevitable resection. Why?

I am going through it with a friend now and I really am APPALLED at the seeming lack of logic to the whole treament system.

I get the impression that no matter WHAT stage, no matter WHAT your condition you get Treatment Plan A...period. They diddle about imaginary alternatives, but when push comes to shove, it's Treatment Plan A.

 
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