fbpx

Ask the Cancer Coach-“Stage 4 esophageal cancer diagnosis and treatment”

Share Button

The important thing is that he has lowered his esophageal cancer tumor burden. By doing this your brother is giving his body the ability to strengthen his immune system…

Cancer Coach- My brother has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer at stage 4 when confirmed.  He was sent to palliative care.  He could not bear to lay down and die.  He has convinced them to try treatment even though they said it would not work.  He did radiation treatment to help his swallowing and and then did chemo. 

After his first round his tumors both in his liver and esophogus had shrunk by 75%.  He has put weight on and can eat anything.   He doesn’t get really ill from chemo just tired and a little nauseous.  Is it possible it can be cured?


Hi Kim-
I agree with your brother in not agreeing that therapy would not “work.” I was a stage 4 myeloma patient in ’96 and also refused to “lay down.” Also, it is great to read that your brother has put on weight and is eating regularly. Your brother’s ability to tolerate toxic chemotherapy bodes well for his cancer management.

Whether your brother can be cured or not can’t be determined with any certainty. The term cured when used by cancer docs simply means that a cancer patient lives for five years from the time of original diagnosis. My guess is that you and your brother care more about living a long and healthy life from here out. While it has been almost 20 years since my own cancer diagnosis I don’t think about being “cured.” I work at the therapies that I have outlined for you below.

The important thing is that he has lowered his tumor burden. By doing this your brother is giving his body the ability to strengthen his immune system, get physically stronger and fight or manage his cancer. Let me outline several therapies to further fight or manage esophageal cancer and then ask you a few specifics about your brother so I can research your situation further (if that’s okay with you).

EC nutrition- whether your brother regularly eats blackberries, strawberries, garlic, more fruits and veggies in general, or the vitamin/minerals studied below, nutrition will play an important role in your brother fighting/managing his EC-

Black Raspberries Slow Cancer by Altering Hundreds of Genes

EC nutritional supplementation- curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil) have both shown the ability to kill EC cancer.  While melatonin fights GERD, there are no specific research that I can find demonstrating its ability to fight EC specifically.

Curcumin induces cell death in esophageal cancer cells through modulating Notch signaling.

Fish oil-supplemented parenteral nutrition in patients following esophageal cancer surgery: effect on inflammation and immune function.

The Potential Therapeutic Effect of Melatonin in Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease

Moderate daily exercise, eating well, the supplementation linked above, all have been shown to help manage EC.

How old is your brother? Does he have any other health challenges? What therapies have been recommended beyond his past chemo and radiation?

I have linked lots of reading for you but knowledge is power, especially in cancer care. Let me know what questions you have.

thanks and hang in there.

David Emerson-

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


The Most BioAvailable Curcumin Formulas

“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”

A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.

I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.

The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.

The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.


Recommended Reading:


Curcumin

CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.[1]

Bioavailable curcumin formulations: A review of pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers.

“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.

The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.

Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.

Based on the published reports,

exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”

According to Consumerlab.com:

“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”


Leave a Comment:

25 comments
Billy says 11 months ago

My wife has been diagnosed with esophageal adenocarcinoma with lymph nodes. She has been juicing 8-10 cups of carrot juice for about a month. She recently cut back too 3-5 cups daily. The original ct scan showed mets to liver but current pet scan showed liver clear. She has opted to start chemo to see if that will help. She is really not having any symptoms and last blood work was in range. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

Reply
Pavan says 3 years ago

Hi David,

My dad (aged 64) is recently diagnosed with Esophagus / Esophageal stage III cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). Doctors recommended radiation plus chemotherapy for 6 weeks. I want to explore the possibilities of alternative medicine to treat the tumor. Doctors said that the size of the tumor is 28-33 cm and lesions are found in some parts of the body.

I would like to understand the following:

1.Is there an alternative medicine available to treat and shrink the tumor? What may be the available options?
2.Would you be able to guide me us through this process. We live in Hyderabad, India.

Do share your email address so that i can write to you for your guidance, share the reports and next steps.

Thanks
Pavan

Reply
    David Emerson says 3 years ago

    HI Pavan,

    I am sorry to read of your father’s stage 3 EC diagnosis. I will reply to your question about alternative therapies below. But before I do I just wanted to start with stage 3 prognosis aka 5 year survival average. Keep in mind that this is an average and therefore can be somewhat misleading. For example your dad is younger than the average cancer patient. If he is in good condition, physically speaking, then he is again, ahead of the average cancer patient.

    When you say “lesions are found in some parts of the body” I take this to mean that your father’s cancer is “regional” and possibly “distant.” This means that his five year survival is less than localized EC cancer. My point is that your dad must treat his cancer more aggressively that if his EC were localized.

    Localized means that the cancer is only growing in the esophagus. It includes AJCC stage I and some stage II tumors (such as those that are T1, T2, or T3, N0, M0). Stage 0 cancers are not included in these statistics.
    Regional means that the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues. This includes T4 tumors and cancers with lymph node spread (N1, N2, or N3).
    Distant means that the cancer has spread to organs or lymph nodes away from the tumor, and includes all M1 (stage IV) cancers.
    Stage
    5-Year Relative Survival Rate
    Localized
    43%
    Regional
    23%
    Distant
    5%

    Yes, there are alternative EC therapies. Meaning, there are therapies to take that are non-toxic. The challenge you and your dad face when considering alternative therapies is that they are difficult to assess. Meaning, it is difficult to judge a therapy if the “proof” is anecdotal or individual.

    Having said this, I believe your father’s therapy regimen should not be alternative but a combination of conventional, integrative and complementary. For example, your dad might undergo surgery or radiation (both conventional) in order to shrink his tumor. At 28-32 cm, his tumor requires immediate treatment to shrink his tumor. Yes, radiation is toxic but I will recommend therapies that research has shown will reduce this toxicity such as resveratrol.

    The protective effects of Resveratrol against radiation-induced intestinal injury

    Further, I would recommend systemic (body-side) therapy to kill any EC that has spread throughout your dad’s body. Yes, chemo is toxic but again 1) your dad must treat his metastasis quickly and I would recommend and provide integrative therapies shown to enhance the efficacy of the chemo.

    You would have to find out what chemo and tell me to research evidence-based integrative therapies. An example would be a chemo called 5-FU- curcumin has been shown to enhance the efficacy of 5-FU in EC.

    Curcumin potentiates the antitumor effects of 5-FU in treatment of esophageal squamous carcinoma cells through downregulating the activation ofNF-kB signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo

    Further, I believe that your dad should undergo evidence-based non-toxic therapies that also have been shown to be cytotoxic (kill) EC. Again one of these is curcumin, but in addition there are foods and lifestyle therapies that also can help your dad.

    Lastly, yes, my job as a cancer coach is to provide online support to both you and your dad through this process. The cancer coaching that is provided by PeopleBeatingCancer also provides caregiver, mind-body, etc. therapies.

    This is a long reply to your questions. Let me know if you have any other questions. My email address is david.peoplebeatingcancer@gmail.com.

    Hang in there,

    David Emerson
    Cancer Survivor
    Cancer Coach
    Director PBC

    Reply
Reduce toxicity while you enhance the efficacy of esophageal cancer therapy says 3 years ago

[…] Ask the Cancer Coach-“Stage 4 esophageal cancer diagnosis and treatment” […]

Reply
Jules Berge says 3 years ago

My husband has esophagus cancer help

Reply
    David Emerson says 3 years ago

    Hi Jules,
    I am sorry to learn of your husband’s esophageal cancer diagnosis. Yes, depending on what you need, I can help. As a cancer coach, I work with patients and their caregivers to research and provide information about therapies and issues that they are facing.

    For example, what therapies are you considering? What therapies has your husband’s oncologist offered? I can provide information about other forms of therapies as well, depending on what you are looking for.

    What therapy or therapies is your husband considering?

    Thanks

    David Emerson

    Reply
Toshia Dunbrack says 4 years ago

My brother was diagnosed with EC. He had radiation and chemo and was set to have surgery to remove the shrunken tumor. He had a pet scan and it showed a lymph node as hot. He just had a biopsy and they removed the lymph node. It is positive for cancer. He is now diagnosed as stage 4. He is 40 years old and we are waiting to hear his treatment process. Can you give me advice on what else he can do? He currently has a feeding tube because he couldn’t eat by the end of his treatments. He ha gotten extremely thin and weak.

Reply
    David Emerson says 4 years ago

    Hi Toshia-
    I am sorry to read of your brother’s stage 4 EC cancer. Has your brother had the surgery to remove the shrunken EC tumor yet? I ask only because surgical removal (debulking the cancer) would give his body time to rest for other therapies. As you say he has lost weight and is weak.

    The next steps in his therapy plan depend largely on if the cancer has been removed. Please let me know.

    thanks

    David Emerson

    Reply
Kate says 4 years ago

Friend recently diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal ademocarcinoma. Already going sugar free and plant juicing hard but what are good supplements to aid the healing process?

Reply
    David Emerson says 4 years ago

    Hi Kate-

    I am sorry to learn of your stage 4 EA. Good to read that you are reducing or eliminating sugar. I also agree with juicing veggies. Curcumin and resveritrol are two supplements that have been shown to kill EC.

    I will be direct. Due to your advanced stage I encourage you to use both conventional (FDA approved) and evidence-based non-conventional therapies to treat your cancer. Meaning, use those therapies that your oncologist is recommending as well as curcumin, resveritrol, others, complimentary therapies, exercise, detox, etc.

    Are you considering any conventional therapies such as surgery or chemo? Radiation?

    David Emerson

    Curcumin induces cell death in esophageal cancer cells through modulating Notch signaling.
    Resveratrol induces apoptosis in human esophageal carcinoma cells.

    Reply
Anita says 5 years ago

Hi my brother is 47 and just been told that he only as months to live .. He as stage 4 lung cancer I have start him on carrot juice but is there any think that can help him ..

Reply
    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    Hi Anita-

    I am sorry to read of your brother’s stage 4 lunch cancer diagnosis. I am both a long-term cancer survivor and cancer coach. I work with patients, survivors and caregivers to design a non-toxic, evidence-based program for their cancers.

    Let me know if you would like to learn more about cancer coaching.

    Please consider:

    1) Palliative Care
    2) Milk Thistle
    3) Curcumin
    4) Omega-3 fatty acids

    David Emerson

    Reply
Richard Alexander says 5 years ago

I’m a 61 yr old male diagnosed in May 2015 with stage 4 esophageal cancer with adenocarcinoma that has spread to regional lymph nodes. After completing 4 chemo treatments from June to mid Aug, I had a progress check. New scans showed chemo every two weeks had shrunk adenocarcinoma fro 8.2 cm to less than half, lymph node cancer had mostly shrunk with two nodes maintaining size. Good news was significant progress with shrinkage of primary tumor and NO spreading to other sites, nodes or organs! I will complete my 8th chemo this week and in early November I will have another progress check with new scans. Since mid Aug I have been using natural supplements to include Curcumin c3 with black pepper, I-6 with inositol, turmeric 1ml daily, vitamin d3, B17. What other natural supplements do you recommend while undergoing chemo to help boost my immune system. My labs have stayed normal since starting chemo in June but for liver functions. Oncologist moved my my chemos starting in August from 2 to 3 weeks apart for liver results to get closer to normal between chemos. My most recent lab test showed all results in normal range. Please advise on natural means to boost immune system and what can be used to fight circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that are not picked up on scans, are resistant to chemo and the cause for cancer reappearing after scans show patient is cancer free. Traditional medicine (chemo, radiation, and surgery) ignore these Circulating tumor cells. I am nervous about radiation and surgery. Can natural means be used effectively with chemo? Please advise.

Reply
Rick says 5 years ago

I was diagnosed in late May 2015 with stage 4 EC from adenocarcinoma that has spread to regional lymph nodes. Started on chemo 2 weeks in late June and had a restaging eval with new sans after completing 1st 4 chemos. scans showed primary tumor had shrunk to less than 1/2 size from 8.2 cm and cancer in nearly all lymph nodes has also shrunk with 2 staying at same size. Good news from that exam was NO spreading to any new sites or organs. Liver functions were high so decision was made to give same chemo drugs every 3 instead of every 2 weeks. Liver and all lab results have improved to Normal ranges. I have started numerous treatments since mid Aug and my personal research that showed conventional medicine chemo addresses tumor and cancer seen on scans but ignores circulating tumor cells (CTCs) not yet seen on scans (not enough concentration)but have major role in cancer spreading and are resistant to chemo. Sine mid August, I have several natural remedies I use each day: Curcumin C3 with Bioperine 3x daily, Turmeric 1ml, baking soda/lemon juice, IP-6 w/Inositol, carrot juice, vitamin d3 5000 IU, apricot seeds 20/ day. I am on a feeding tube (since Initial diagnosis in May) so diet remains constant and immensely helps keeps calories and nutrition coming especially during nausea after chemo. I have another staging eval 2 weeks from now after completing 8 of 12 chemos. If they recommend radiation or surgery after reviewing scans, should I do either or give more time for natural remedies to take effect. I am doing well with chemo, bur nervous about radiation or surgery. Your recommendations/comments please.

Reply
    David Emerson says 5 years ago

    Hi Rick-

    My impression from reading your post is that you understand that you are in a serious situation with stage 4 esophageal cancer though you are taking a full spectrum approach to your therapy with chemo and integrative and complimentary therapies. Again, my impression is that your positive results “…scans showed primary tumor had shrunk to less than 1/2 size from 8.2 cm and cancer in nearly all lymph nodes has also shrunk with 2 staying at same size. Good news from that exam was NO spreading to any new sites or organs…” is a clear indication that your combination of therapies is working.

    While the research remains hazy on the issue of both CTC and cancer stem cells (CSC), I am in agreement with you- conventional therapies may shrink the visible tumor but do not kill CTC or CSC.

    I would like to add evidence-based integrative or complimentary supplements for you to consider taking in addition to your list above. I will link blog posts with studies embedded in each. Please read and consider adding to your therapies- based on the studies below, please consider adding omega 3 fatty acids, resveritrol and green tea extract to your regimen.

    Pharmacological Intervention through Dietary Nutraceuticals in Gastrointestinal Neoplasia.

    Induction of apoptosis by eicosapentaenoic acid in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma.

    omega-3 Fatty acid-containing diet (Racol) reduces toxicity of chemoradiation therapy for patients with esophageal cancer].

    Resveratrol inhibits oesophageal adenocarcinoma cell proliferation via AMP-activated protein kinase signaling.

    Green tea and prevention of esophageal and lung cancers.

    Regarding your question ” If they recommend radiation or surgery after reviewing scans, should I do either or give more time for natural remedies to take effect. I am doing well with chemo, bur nervous about radiation or surgery. Your recommendations/comments please.”

    If in two weeks you are staged again you will have only completed 8 of 12 rounds of chemo if I understand your post. It seems logical to me that before undergoing a different therapy (radiation) you and your onc. will want to 1) finish the full course of chemo and 2) see what happens to your EC after you complete your chemo course (which may take a week or two two finish its job aka cytotoxicity.

    I am not against local radiation as your stage and cancer are aggressive though you are correct. You are responding WELL to chemo. I would want to see how the full course of chemo does. Especially if you add fish oil, resveritrol and green tea extract.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    David Emerson

    Reply
      Richard Alexander says 5 years ago

      Thank you so very very much for your reply. I will definitely adds the naturals you suggested and feel much better about future treatment. I will repost as treatment proceeds with results. I pray what I am pursuing with chemo works and can give hope to those facing similar diagnosis with stage 4!

      Reply
        David Emerson says 5 years ago

        Rick-

        Hang in there and yes, please re-post with questions, updates, etc.

        David Emerson

        Reply
Marie says 6 years ago

Thank you for your help I will list below what my husband does
,oxygen water
,60 kernels a day
,msm
,Pomi t
,vitamin d and c
,immune system tablet
,every day vitamin
,milk thistle
,black salve
He also juices blackberries blueberries raspberries strawberries pineapple
No sugar no milk cheese or dairy could you email me my email address is uttley.marie@yahoo.co.uk many thanks just hope I’m doing enough

Reply
    David Emerson says 6 years ago

    Good luck

    Reply
Marie says 6 years ago

Thank you for your time I’ll take a look at the link

Reply
    David Emerson says 6 years ago

    Let me know if you have any questions Marie-

    D

    Reply
      Marie says 6 years ago

      Hi I bought the tablets as seen that this tablet helps do you know of any people that it’s worked on pls

      Reply
        David Emerson says 6 years ago

        Hi Marie-

        There are a couple different ways to answer your question “…do you know of any people that it’s worked on pls.” The short answer is that I believe curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids and melatonin have helped me remain completely cancer free (since 4/99) from my cancer multiple myeloma. If you had any experience with MM you would know that all MM survivors relapse.

        The longer answer is that I read accounts of cancer survivors saying that nutritional supplementation helps them. But I can’t cite specific s beyond my own experiences.

        thanks and keep in touch,

        David Emerson

        Reply
Marie says 6 years ago

Hi my husband also has stage 4 asophagus cancer that’s spread to the lymph nodes Will melatonin help him thanks

Reply
    David Emerson says 6 years ago

    Hi Marie-
    I am sorry to learn of your husband’s esophageal cancer diagnosis. The link below illustrated several EC non-conventional therapies. Specifically, melatonin has shown the ability to fight GERD but not EC specifically.
    Ask the Cancer Coach-“Stage 4 esophageal cancer diagnosis and treatment”

    What other therapies are you considering?

    Hang in there-

    David Emerson

    Reply
Add Your Reply