Worried about recurrence being cancer

Posted , 3 users are following.

hi all 7 years out from my heller myotomy and wrap. Swallowing was not oerfect but inwould consider surgery a success. i had two years of follow up when my surgeon left the area. I had no idea he left and just figured I was released. His nurse always called when it was time for follow up Anyway, I had some stressful health issues this past month that checked out fine. Just this past week, I started noticing my swallowing. It feels hard to swallow at the top and at the middle of my chest. It has been so long I can't remember if this is normal. I did have a few times iver the past three months where food got stuck and struggled to get down. I googled and saw the risk of esophageal cancer with achalasia and I am convinced that I have it because I did not do my follow ups I am a wreck. Thank you for listening!!

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2 Replies

  • Posted

    It is always a good thing to follow up patients some years after their myotomy, because sometimes the condition is not always as stable as it should be. So I think you should try to get a reassessment of your achalasia. It is much more likely that it is a development of achalasia requiring, perhaps, some revision of the surgery or some other procedure, rather than cancer. Stress does increase the tension and potential swallowing difficulties even after a myotomy. But it is inevitable that you will have an endoscopy and this will check on the potential cancer aspect.There is a potential for some with achalasia of additional exposure to stomach acid that might create an extra Barrett's oesophagus / precursor to cancer risk, but I do not think that the risk of cancer with achalasia is anything other than low. Achalasia is a lot rarer than oesophageal cancer, and there must inevitably be somebody somewhere that has both, but I would really take things at face value and think in terms of needing further achalasia assessment. Unfortunately the system is not as good as it should be in reviewing achalasia treatment in the longer term.Swallowing difficulties should man that the system gives you an endoscopy appointment with some urgency, and quoting the cancer risk might speed things up a bit. But do not get this fear out of proportion.

    • Posted

      thank you for your reply. I should be hearing tomorrow about an appt with a new dr and a barium swallow. I know that the risk is small. My mind thinks increased risk means that I have it. Anxiety is through the roof and hopefully that is that is causing the swallowing problems. I am in the US and it is hard to say when I will get in for an appt.

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