Oesophageal Patients Association
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Blood tests

Hi all this is the first time I have posted anything on here. I am now 3 1/2 years post op from having an Esophagectomy. Please could anyone offer me any advise. I just wondered if anyone has regular blood tests. My GP is never forthcoming and I always have to negotiate in getting one. The reason I ask for a blood test is to make sure that everything is working ok. Many thanks Darryl

3 Replies

Hi speedway. I'm six years post op.....blood tests were requested by the surgeon for six months after the op. After then - no blood tests, just the six monthly visit to the surgeon. Why are you pushing for Blood Tests ? There are many things that can be tested for. The Doctor sending in the test has to define what is to be tested for - so what are you asking them to test for?


Regular tests to check for vitamin or mineral deficiency may well be important, depending on your individual details. But having a blood test to try and achieve a reassurance that any cancer really has been removed is not really done as a general rule. The doctors prefer to be guided by your own symptoms and this is normally related to the hospital post-surgical check-ups. If you have an objective reason to be concerned about recurrence of cancer, then please report it accordingly and let it be dealt with according to circumstances. If you have a digestive issue, you would need to describe what is happening to the doctor and they can help work out a potential solution. You are entitled to worry about the cancer recurring, and everyone does, to some extent. But there does come a time when you begin to regain confidence in your own body and how it feels, and perhaps a blood test is no longer needed to provide this reassurance?

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have a blood test each time I see my surgeon. Some surgeons say that these are useful to detect whether the thing is returning but I have heard others say they are not. This year I have asked them to check my iron zinc and B12 levels. One chilling piece of advice I got was that you'll know if it has come back. I reach the four year stage next month.


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