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Trachea cancer?

(5 Posts)
ruddygreattiger Tue 09-Dec-14 20:19:55

My fil was diagnosed with throat cancer last week and was told it was trachea cancer. He has been for a few tests with tubes down the throat etc and he has told us on Tuesday this week that it is apparantly in his trachea and also his aorta? He was told he would be having a full body scan last week but that was cancelled and instead he was told it would be chemo only. We have spoken to him again tonight and he has been told he does have to go back for a body scan (pet scan?) as they need to check something out on his bronchii. He is telling us there is nothing to worry about and is a bit vague with treatments etc that the doctors are recommending.
Does anyone know if this sounds like it has been caught in the early stages as this is what one of the first doctors told him after the initial round of tests were done last week?
If anyone has experience of this and the general routine of treatments that would be really helpful. We have offered to go to the hospital so we can listen to what the specialists are saying but fil doesnt want anyone else there (which is undertandable) so in the meantime dh is getting increasingly worried. My fil is 64 , has always been a very heavy drinker and is diabetic.

Kundry Wed 10-Dec-14 16:20:08

I hvae to say what your FIL is saying doesn't make a lot of medical sense. I've never come across trachea or aorta cancer so I think he is getting (or telling you) the wrong end of the stick here.

Chemo without surgery or radiotherapy would normally mean palliative not curative treatment.

But from his description I can't really figure out where his cancer is - I'm assuming it's in his larynx (not trachea) and they are looking to see if it has spread further - this is what the PET scan would be for. Having the PET scan does suggest there is a chance of curative treatment as they are checking carefully to make sure aggressive curative treatment is the right thing to do.

There are some lymph nodes around the aorta and main bronchi which may be where he has got the words from. A guess would be that he's had a CT scan which suggests these are a bit big but isn't clear about whether they represent cancer spread or not so the PET scan has been arranged to clarify this. But I'm guessing a lot here on his rather dodgy info. If I'm right and the cancer has spread into these nodes, then it is very advanced.

Head and neck cancers are most common in heavy drinkers and smokers and can be cured with surgery or radiotherapy if they have not spread very much but the treatment is often very tough.

He should be getting copies of the letters his specialists send his GP - would he let your DH have a look at these? It's very hard being a relative and relying on second hand information flowers

sanfairyanne Wed 10-Dec-14 16:35:34

did you read this already?

sanfairyanne Wed 10-Dec-14 19:51:52

sorry, had to dash off
yes to someone going with him if he will let them. my dad got so confused about it all. he should get a cancer nurse as well - they are great for explaining everything and v approachable

ruddygreattiger Sun 28-Dec-14 23:06:53

So sorry not posted a reply (no email updates, think my settings must be off?).
Ok, last time we saw fil was on Xmas eve and he does still have a very sore throat which means he can only really eat soups etc.
He has been back for the pet scan and he told us that the cancer is in his oesophagus and he is due to have a dose of chemo tomorrow followed by a course of drugs. He has been told the cancer is in the worst place it could be so there will be no surgery and if the chemo and drugs dont work then he has between 12 - 18 months.
We have repeatedly offered to take him to hospital for treatment and to talk to the specialists but he is refusing so we are just going on what he has told us so I am sorry if the information I am relaying does not sound right. He does have some paperwork from the hospital but will not let us see it.

So I gather from the info we do have is that the cancer is very advanced and the chemo is more palliative care, thank you Kundry for confirming this, and yes both he and my mil are very heavy drinkers and have been for years.
Thanks for the link Fairyanne, I have read that and passed it on to dh.

I don't think it really has sunk in properly with my DH, he has offered help with anything but his parents decline and don't seem to want him involved which I suppose is because they don't want him worrying.
Thanks again for your replies.x

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