Oesophageal Patients Association
3,733 members2,252 posts

was enough done

My husband, 72, saw the doc because of cough lasting much more than 3 wks. Went for two xrays on chest/lungs area which came back clear. Saw doc several times for same cough and saw another doc when own was away. Was examined and told to see own doc which he did. At that point he was refered to specialist who sent him across corridor for cameras and found to have cancer growth in two areas of the oesophagus at lower point as it turned into stomach. I suspect 2nd doc felt something and advised his own doctor. I'd really like to know why his doctor, in my opinion, only thought coughs came from lung irritation. If she had looked further perhaps the growth could have been found earlier and my husband would still be here.

1 Reply

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I think it is entirely natural to speculate about what happened, and what might have been different. To be fair, persistent coughs would normally lead doctors to think of checking the lungs and chest first, and this was done. I am sorry to say that a majority of people who are diagnosed with oesophageal cancer are diagnosed too late for curative treatment.

There is a school of thought that there ought to be some form of screening of people at a certain age who suffer from various ailments that might potentially be cancer, but they need to develop and research proper tests for cancer that would go into GP surgeries. One of these is Cytosponge, a pill on a string, which is being trialed in Cambridgeshire at the moment. There are other methods such as a cancer breath test which is also being developed, and a saliva test to detect these cancers. Hopefully in a few years' time the situation will be different from the experience that you and your husband faced.


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