The faculty of making stupid discoveries by accident. The name of my first Fantasy Football Team. Neither of which have anything to do with this blog. I just like the word. Deal with it !!!!!!

Esophageal Cancer Blogs and New Data

So I have been surfing around and there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of blogs by people who have EC. 

Come out, come out wherever you are.  There are new stats you need to see.  Insomuch as EC is still a very deadly type of cancer, things are looking up.

Baby steps, remember always baby steps…

Statistics Update from the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2008 annual report.

Cancer trends and death rates.

Esophageal cancer still remains on an upward swing in the 2008 data. There were 16, 470 estimated new cases in 2008 and there were sadly, 14,280 estimated deaths. Only pancreatic cancer with 37, 680 new cases and 34,290 deaths had a higher mortality rate. Liver cancer is a very close third with with 21,370 new cases in 2008 and 18,410 deaths, only a few tenths of percentage points behind esophageal cancer.
On a more positive note, the 5 year survival rate for esophageal cancer has risen from 5% in 1975-77 to 16% in 1996-2003. That is a very positive trend and points to the progress and improvements in surgery outcomes over 20 years.

The report did not break down the data by stage of tumor, but should be on the NCI website shortly, if not already, since this is based upon federal data.


7 responses to “Esophageal Cancer Blogs and New Data

  1. n3rvp4in January 15, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    We found out that my father-in-law had EC while we were in Mexico. I brought the laptop with us just in case we needed to use it for something. I never thought that it would be to look up information about EC.

    We went to the Starbucks at La Isla Mall in Cancun, they offered free internet, and sat down to find info. I came across the cancer data that said the 5-year survival rate was 5% and nearly fell out of my chair. My wife, of course, was crushed after I was able to show it too her. And thus began my education on EC.

  2. serendopeity January 15, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Thank you for visiting my blog.
    I think that was the scariest thing I learned – the survival rates. I had been diagnosed earlier in the day and couldn’t see the Dr. for 2 days. I got home and hit the ‘Net to see what I could find out. It was “discouraging” to say the least.
    The survival rates were horrible – I figured I was doomed and would be dead in no time at all. But, happily I am still here after 4 years. It has not been easy – in fact its been pretty damn tough at times but it has been a learning experience that I believe has made me a better person. In some small way I hope that my experience with EC can help others to see that life is too short to be worried about what might happen…
    Once again thanks and come back often – I hope to update and finish the “aesthetics” soon.

  3. Lois Dickerman January 25, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Well, the first thing you will notice is that I cheated. The Website I listed is not mine, but the website for the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association. We are a group trying desperately to spread information about esophageal cancer and most of all, to disabuse the medical professions here in the United States, and perhaps Canada, thati IT CAN BE TREATED!
    My husband Dick and I met Nancy in 2006 (I believe) at a picnic in Penfield, NY at the home of Steve Preston. Steve is a long time survivor of EC, more than 10 years, and is a physically fit firefighter.
    At that time Dick had not yet met NED officially, but he had survived more than 15 months of aggressive treatment at the Univ. of Colorado Anschutz Cancer Pavilion. It was not until six weeks later that he got his first NED award, and we believe he was the first Stage IVB esophageal adenocarcinoma with metastases to lymph nodes, lungs and liver to achieve this. We have now incorporated NED into our lives, but we know that Dick and NED will always have a tenuous partnership. Dick will never be a candidate for surgery, nor would he agree to have it at his age!
    Dick and I really believe in PAY IT FORWARD and we have tried almost on a daily basis to get newly diagnosed patients to ignore the conventional wisdom and seek aggressive treatment for EC. Sadly, there are too many who believe in the omnipotence of physicians and do not trust their own instincts to fight. We have become friends with so many people these past years and those that do have the will to succeed seem to have been doomed by the ineffective medical treatments that they received. One of the most tragic was a friend who had surgery and had a recurrence in some lymph nodes. His oncologist did not tell him that he was being given levels of chemo drugs to “prolong” his life but not to wipe out the lymph node tumors. The oncologist was playing “GOD”. Our friend found this out when he traveled to Univ of Colorado to see Dick’s physician who is absolutely open and honest about every aspect of treatment and expectation. It was too late at this point to undo the damage that marginal chemotherapy had done and try aggressive protocols. Our friend dies of pneumonia about six weeks later. We have to let people know that EC is survivable, even Stage IV and we particularly have to let the medical professionals know this! So that is why my Dick is a “poster child”
    I asked his oncologist one time why she thought that Dick had been able to survive this and which of the 4 categories of treatment he had was the critical one. She replied , “He survived because of his indomitable spirit”!
    Since I have been president of Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association we have made it a goal to have local groups organized in every state and that is a daunting task. Please if you would like to be part of an EC group in your region to socialize, spread information about EC, to support one another, and to just feel a part of something important, please let me know. And, for you Canadians, we also have a Canadian as a member of our Board, Ann Novogradec, whose father died of EC and who is working on a doctorate at U. of Toronto studying EC families and their ways of dealing with EC. Ann is trying to get social groups going in Canada, so please contact her if you are interested. (
    That’s about all for now, but I just want to say that it is great to be able to post on Nancy’s blog. She and Dick, although different sexes, years apart in age, and from different backgrounds have one wonderfully unique trait in common, an ‘indominable spirit”!
    Lois Dickerman

  4. serendopeity January 25, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Thanks Lois. I truly believe that a positive attitude is half the battle. However, too many people who are diagnosed with any type of disease think that having a positive attitude means denying that you are sick. In my opinion this is about as far from the truth that one can get. It does not mean denying you are sick. To me it means accepting that you may die and then going forward, kicking and screaming if neccessary, to do your best to beat your disease. Everyone had bad days before they were diagnosed so why would one think that they would become immune? I think I will dig out my post to the ECG about positivity and post it! Thanks for the idea. Hugs to you and Dick.
    P.S. I still have my ACS purple Relay for Life shirt that I traded Dick for. I LOVE THAT SHIRT!

  5. Maggie February 5, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I really don’t know how to thank all of you Nancy, Lois, Dick, so many to list. if it was not for all the online groups I do not know how I owuld have survived these last 3 yrs. The more blogs groups and places we put EC out there the more people we can help. I now feel strong enough to write and support all that I come across and I have even called some that i know felt so alone. Thank you and lets keep getting the word out. We have a news reporter in Ct that is fighting Breast cancer and I have been writing to her about EC and gave her my story(5yrs ago, I was such a private person that no one new anything about me)I have to come out into the public to feel that all EC suffers that we have lost did so with a purpose to stop others from getting it. when she recovers from her surgery we are going to try and find a way to get this out there more. I presented it to her that breast cancer and ovarian cancer used to be silent killers, until the public became more aware and starting getting screenings. Keeping the fight going


  6. pulliamsandkin April 23, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    My husband was diagnosed with EC last week. I have not told him the details about survival rates. We have an appointment with a chemotherapist next week. I don’t want him to have chemo. I just started a blog about our journey on a more natural approach. it is
    I would really like to talk to some survivors or family members of people who have been treated for esophogeal cancer.
    Sandra F

  7. roger burch April 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    i am a 54 year old in indiana.i was dianosed with stage 3 esophageal cancer feb 10 2012.i went thru a 10 hr lapraroscopic surgery to remove my esophagus.after 30 rounds of radation treatments and 8 chemo.after a year i have gained very little i have little holding room.any one else out there i could use yer stories ,advise, thank you

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