Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

18 Posts | Page(s): 1 2  Next 

Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by Advocate_of_Hope on Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply
I understand that EC is often diagnosed late in the game and that the survivor rate would be lower because the cancer has progressed.  Are the survival rates for EC lower than any other advanced cancer?  For instance is stage III lung cancer or breast cancer more survivable?  Why?  Is it because the Ivor Lewis surgery is risky?  The chemo is less effective against EC?  Do people die because their digestive system is all messed up and they become weak?  I have read that sometimes EC is more common in folks that drink a lot, have poor eating habits and/or smoke...could these traits and a generally unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the lower survivor numbers?  I haven't been able to figure out why the statistics are so poor for EC and I'm wondering if anyone here has an explaination or a personal theory about this.

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by marilyn55 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply
::::: Are the survival rates for EC lower than any other advanced cancer? For instance is stage III lung cancer or breast cancer more survivable? Why? This is an interesting question. Maybe one reason is that EC isn't as common as breast or lung cancer and therefore the research and progress with regards treatment hasn't got the attention/funds that more common cancers have. Breast cancer has a more options for treatment because of its link to hormones and also prostate cancer can be treated with hormones. Lung cancer is very common - it doesn't seem to metastasis early. EC can only be treated with chemo and radiation and excision. There doesn't seem to be any new line therapies like antibodies e.g. herceptin... or am I wrong about that? ::::: Is it because the Ivor Lewis surgery is risky? The chemo is less effective against EC? Do people die because their digestive system is all messed up and they become weak? I don't know but I think it's because EC spreads very early. I thought I read that it was because the lymph nodes are located very close to the esophagus and there are lots of them. In breast cancer the further away from the armpit the cancer is, the longer the cancer takes to spread to the lymph nodes. Also it depends on how aggressive the cancer is and some breast cancers grow slowly. EC is deemed to be as aggressive as pancreatic cancer and the prognosis for pancreatic cancer is very poor inspite of chemo. ::::::I have read that sometimes EC is more common in folks that drink a lot, have poor eating habits and/or smoke...could these traits and a generally unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the lower survivor numbers? Most people don't have particularly healthy life styles. Diet, smoking and drinking have to take their place in the queue with lack of exercise, pollution, plastic packaging, chemical contamination of food, water and soil not to mention daily stress. We are living a long way from the natural way we were intended to live. I suspect that the people who survive the best after EC are those who were diagnosed early and those whose genetic make up allowed them to respond well to chemo therapy. :::: I haven't been able to figure out why the statistics are so poor for EC and I'm wondering if anyone here has an explaination or a personal theory about this. I am new to EC. I would also like to know why EC is so aggressive. best marilyn

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by tongrenhealer on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply
Part of it has to do with the types of cells that line the esophagus. There are two types of EC/one being squamous cell carcinoma which is much more common in Asia and is more often associated with alcohol and cigarettes. Squamous cells make up the lining and are very thin compared to many types of cells so there is probably more diffusion/perhaps more spread more quickly. All cancer is not the same. Different cancers attack cells in different ways, may respond to hormones or other substances in our bodies, or have varying growth patterns. EC is just a very aggressive growth and spreads rapidly. Adenocarcinoma is more common in the west, frequently located near the junction with the stomach, and is skyrocketing. It is more commonly related to acid reflux, obesity, etc (although smoking can relax the sphincter at the stomach which would also contribute to a lesser degree than squamous). It is frequently stage 4 when discovered, which makes it more deadly. Perhaps someone with medical background could say whether part of the spread is the proximity of esophagus to large number of lymphatics, since lymph flows throughout the body and would be a way to carry the cancer cells to another organ, bone, etc. Don't get hung up on the statistics-they're awful whether you are looking at old ones or the recent ones but often you get a blanket statistic which makes it sound worse. The ones I saw most recently were the first time I ever saw them broken out by staging and only the stage 4's were really abyssmal (of which my husband is one, and his dx was 12/05 so there are reasons to carry hope in your heart-we are more than 1/2 way to 5 years, even though we've had recurrences and are still fighting).

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by jcr65566 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

 

On 7/6/2008 Advocate of Hope wrote:

I understand that EC is often diagnosed late in the game and that the survivor rate would be lower because the cancer has progressed.  Are the survival rates for EC lower than any other advanced cancer?  For instance is stage III lung cancer or breast cancer more survivable?  Why?  Is it because the Ivor Lewis surgery is risky?  The chemo is less effective against EC?  Do people die because their digestive system is all messed up and they become weak?  I have read that sometimes EC is more common in folks that drink a lot, have poor eating habits and/or smoke...could these traits and a generally unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the lower survivor numbers?  I haven't been able to figure out why the statistics are so poor for EC and I'm wondering if anyone here has an explaination or a personal theory about this.

 

Esophageal cancer I found this site it answers a few question four years a go  My uncle died from  it   http://www.ecaware.org/EC_Information.html I hope you don’t mind but I want to show you the last paragraph  of the post I did for an other member these are not just my idea’s it what Iv learn from the people who fought cancer and who  live around me   “There are some really good ways to fight cancer Iv learned once we get cancer if our immune system is week we always have cancer the best way then  Iv learn to fight cancer is in using large amounts of  antioxidants Patients on chemo can take antioxidants. A short time after chemo we should detoxify. because  Chemo a heavy metal about three days after treatment it stops killing the cancer but it still slowly harming us . What left of the chemo that our bodies cant filter out will stays in our body a long time so detoxify we can use Cellular  Zeolite as it removes heavy metals from the body so we have lest harm a few people here told  me that patient when they finish  chemo expect  to be rid of the cancer the only thing that kill cancer effectively is our own immune system so we must find ways to build up our  immune system but it a bit more then that when we have cancer the whole body sick not one part of it all cells have a shell membrane that maid of fat when we eat fatty foods  that have Synthetic fats Tri-Fats these tri- fats take the place of normal fats the tri-fats around the cell are smaller so nutrients find it hard to get in to the cell so the cell starves the cell has to find other ways to produce energy one of these ways is to turn into cancer.”  Take care Ray         

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by tongrenhealer on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply
I agree on the immune system but have used cellular zeolite and the cancer came back anyways. You also need to be aware when using it that it is contraindicated with several chemo drugs. The chemo drugs are poison, so I can see wanting to detox them, but after going through the torture of chemo do you really want to boot them out of your system that fast because they are still working on the cancer at that point. We waited a while before starting the zeolite after first chemo and Ivor-Lewis and it clearly detoxes metals, etc so I'm not disagreeing with that. I'm much more alternative than pro-chemo, but when the alternatives aren't cutting it and the cancer is getting a foothold again, and its as aggressive as EC, you need to do something. We do alternative with treatment, and it supports his immune system while the chemo beats the crap out of it, and he just fares better all around, but is still here with us to tell abvout it, even though he was stage 4 in 12/05 and is currently treating lung mets again.

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by doingfine on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

 

On 7/6/2008 Advocate of Hope wrote:

I understand that EC is often diagnosed late in the game and that the survivor rate would be lower because the cancer has progressed.  Are the survival rates for EC lower than any other advanced cancer?  For instance is stage III lung cancer or breast cancer more survivable?  Why?  Is it because the Ivor Lewis surgery is risky?  The chemo is less effective against EC?  Do people die because their digestive system is all messed up and they become weak?  I have read that sometimes EC is more common in folks that drink a lot, have poor eating habits and/or smoke...could these traits and a generally unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the lower survivor numbers?  I haven't been able to figure out why the statistics are so poor for EC and I'm wondering if anyone here has an explaination or a personal theory about this.

 

I think it may be just a combination of Ivor-Lewis and Stage of cancer,plus your body trying to learn to eat all over again.  My surgeon and also one of my oncologists (whose father is an EC survivor and is now 87) said the surgery is the worst you can have.  My husband just recently had a new aortic valve and 5 bypasses.  He was out of the hospital in 5 days and I was barely out of intensive care after 3 days.  Several doctors have told me the surgery is the worst because it is so close to the heart and main arteries.  My surgeon told me straight out that I was in a war with the cancer and also touch n go with the surgery because of its complexity.  I know of many people who have survived EC and gone on for 15-20 years.  My family doctor who did over 500 of these surgeries in China told me not to worry about it.  He said many patients there live 15-20 years beyond and he expects me to also.  He told me the best thing I can do is not dwell on the negative and just live life with a positive attitude.

I have heard that many times the cancer will spread to the lymph glands and also into the liver because of the close proximity of it.  My surgeon said that if she saw it had already spread to the liver she was going to close me up and let the doctors control the cancer with chemo/rad., etc because the length of time to recover from EC surgery is so long. My best EC survivor friend made it to 5 year mark and it came back.  She had other complications with Barretts and never received chemo or radiation after her surgery.

Everyone is different and each case is different.  I am suspect of so much plastic.  Milk in plastic cartons, etc. etc.  I try to avoid plastic now if I can.  I had the Adenocarcenoma and was told it was definitely from GERD.  I plan to surpass the 5 year mark and beyond. 

 

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by doingfine on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply
Oops!  I should have identified myself.  I am a 4+ year survivor. Was stage 2A (t-2 not through the wall, but the surgeon didn't believe it until she actually opened me up) Did have the surgery back in May of 2004, had a difficult 8 months and took a good year to get back to really feeling fine. 

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by Oncrx on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

I think you have already touched on the main reason.  Survival for early stage EC is in the 80-90% range.  The problem is that most EC is diagnosed at stage III and IV when survival is much less.  This impacts the overall survival rate.  Once you have lymph node involvement the survival rates go down dramatically.

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by Janice2215 on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

 

On 7/7/2008 doingfine wrote:

 

On 7/6/2008 Advocate of Hope wrote:

I understand that EC is often diagnosed late in the game and that the survivor rate would be lower because the cancer has progressed.  Are the survival rates for EC lower than any other advanced cancer?  For instance is stage III lung cancer or breast cancer more survivable?  Why?  Is it because the Ivor Lewis surgery is risky?  The chemo is less effective against EC?  Do people die because their digestive system is all messed up and they become weak?  I have read that sometimes EC is more common in folks that drink a lot, have poor eating habits and/or smoke...could these traits and a generally unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the lower survivor numbers?  I haven't been able to figure out why the statistics are so poor for EC and I'm wondering if anyone here has an explaination or a personal theory about this.

 

I think it may be just a combination of Ivor-Lewis and Stage of cancer,plus your body trying to learn to eat all over again.  My surgeon and also one of my oncologists (whose father is an EC survivor and is now 87) said the surgery is the worst you can have.  My husband just recently had a new aortic valve and 5 bypasses.  He was out of the hospital in 5 days and I was barely out of intensive care after 3 days.  Several doctors have told me the surgery is the worst because it is so close to the heart and main arteries.  My surgeon told me straight out that I was in a war with the cancer and also touch n go with the surgery because of its complexity.  I know of many people who have survived EC and gone on for 15-20 years.  My family doctor who did over 500 of these surgeries in China told me not to worry about it.  He said many patients there live 15-20 years beyond and he expects me to also.  He told me the best thing I can do is not dwell on the negative and just live life with a positive attitude.

I have heard that many times the cancer will spread to the lymph glands and also into the liver because of the close proximity of it.  My surgeon said that if she saw it had already spread to the liver she was going to close me up and let the doctors control the cancer with chemo/rad., etc because the length of time to recover from EC surgery is so long. My best EC survivor friend made it to 5 year mark and it came back.  She had other complications with Barretts and never received chemo or radiation after her surgery.

Everyone is different and each case is different.  I am suspect of so much plastic.  Milk in plastic cartons, etc. etc.  I try to avoid plastic now if I can.  I had the Adenocarcenoma and was told it was definitely from GERD.  I plan to surpass the 5 year mark and beyond. 

 


 

RE: Why is the 5 year survival rate so low for EC?

by Aoife on Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:00 AM

Quote | Reply

 

On 7/7/2008 doingfine wrote:

 

On 7/6/2008 Advocate of Hope wrote:

I understand that EC is often diagnosed late in the game and that the survivor rate would be lower because the cancer has progressed.  Are the survival rates for EC lower than any other advanced cancer?  For instance is stage III lung cancer or breast cancer more survivable?  Why?  Is it because the Ivor Lewis surgery is risky?  The chemo is less effective against EC?  Do people die because their digestive system is all messed up and they become weak?  I have read that sometimes EC is more common in folks that drink a lot, have poor eating habits and/or smoke...could these traits and a generally unhealthy lifestyle contribute to the lower survivor numbers?  I haven't been able to figure out why the statistics are so poor for EC and I'm wondering if anyone here has an explaination or a personal theory about this.

 

I think it may be just a combination of Ivor-Lewis and Stage of cancer,plus your body trying to learn to eat all over again.  My surgeon and also one of my oncologists (whose father is an EC survivor and is now 87) said the surgery is the worst you can have.  My husband just recently had a new aortic valve and 5 bypasses.  He was out of the hospital in 5 days and I was barely out of intensive care after 3 days.  Several doctors have told me the surgery is the worst because it is so close to the heart and main arteries.  My surgeon told me straight out that I was in a war with the cancer and also touch n go with the surgery because of its complexity.  I know of many people who have survived EC and gone on for 15-20 years.  My family doctor who did over 500 of these surgeries in China told me not to worry about it.  He said many patients there live 15-20 years beyond and he expects me to also.  He told me the best thing I can do is not dwell on the negative and just live life with a positive attitude.

I have heard that many times the cancer will spread to the lymph glands and also into the liver because of the close proximity of it.  My surgeon said that if she saw it had already spread to the liver she was going to close me up and let the doctors control the cancer with chemo/rad., etc because the length of time to recover from EC surgery is so long. My best EC survivor friend made it to 5 year mark and it came back.  She had other complications with Barretts and never received chemo or radiation after her surgery.

Everyone is different and each case is different.  I am suspect of so much plastic.  Milk in plastic cartons, etc. etc.  I try to avoid plastic now if I can.  I had the Adenocarcenoma and was told it was definitely from GERD.  I plan to surpass the 5 year mark and beyond. 

 

15-20 years does not sound long - am only 34 now and I want to live until I am at least 70, and I want to have kids too!

 

I agree that the survival statistics are very poor but we all have to beat them.

 

18 Posts | Page(s): 1 2  Next 
Subscribe to this message board discussion

Latest Messages

View More

CancerCompass Survey

If you were considering traveling for cancer treatment, which headline would you find more interesting?

Get $75 for taking a research survey

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.