• Radiation effects on the esophagus

    Asked by staci3 on Monday, November 21, 2011

    Radiation effects on the esophagus

    My Dad has recently been diagnosed with stage IIIA lung cancer after having successful surgery for lung cancer in 2006. His cancer is in a lymph node next to the trachea and esophagus. The radiation oncologist told us that the radiation would cause his esophagus to shrink making it easier to choke on food and he would eventually feel like he's swallowing pins and needles everytime he swallows. Has anyone experienced this? How bad should we expect it to be? The doctor also told him they might have to "stretch" his esophagus after treatment is finished:(

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • staci3's Avatar
      staci3

      Thank you for the information drummerboy!

      over 2 years ago
    • retro1931's Avatar
      retro1931

      I have lung cancer and had to quit the radiation as it burned my esophagus after three weeks. I had to be put on PTN through an IV for nutrition and it took about a month before I was able to swallow without the pain and eat again.

      almost 2 years ago
    • shhwee's Avatar
      shhwee

      I have Brain cancer but they treat the whole spine as well as the brain, so I had this issue as well.

      His doctor was right about the pin feeling when swallowing. The pain was horrible... I did find though that bread-like foods and milk were the only things that didn't feel like acid going down. During that time I ate tons of plain popcorn and mashed potatoes!

      Now, almost a year out of radiation I'm able to eat anything I want and have no pain. Best of luck!!!

      almost 2 years ago

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