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How long does esophageal cancer take to grow in the esophagus?

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Posted on Wed, 24 Aug 2016
Question: How long does esophageal cancer take to grow in the esophagus?

My father was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in January of this year. In September of 2015 he had an upper GI endoscopy done as well as a colonoscopy done and was given the all clear. The reason for this is his primary Dr wanted to have it done then due to a low iron level and that she thought he may be bleeding internally. After the all clear he was given iron pills.

His charts also showed his past of GERD, as well as Acid Reflux. I know there is no way to really know how fast it would grow in the esophagus however every medical professional I speak with (out of the office) hints to us that it doesn't seem right to them. Is it possible that 4 months prior he had no signs of anything growing in his tumor and he was having problems swallowing at the beginning of December?
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Answered by Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
The growth rate can vary from individual to individual

Detailed Answer:
Hi! Welcome to Health Care Magic! Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in best way possible.

First of all, it is sad to know what you and your father had to go through. Based on the history you have shared, it seems improbable though, as GI Endocopy is a very accurate test. Everything is directly being visualized in camera in the course of endoscope through esophagus, stomach and intestine. So it is very unlikely to miss some thing as straight as that. Everything suspicious is reported and if seen, sampled for biopsy so if they had not sent anything suspicious for biopsy so it is possible that they hadn't seen any such lesion at that time.

Other possibility is that it grew within 4 months up to grade 4 which is also a rare incidence but it may be the real case. As adenocarcinoma can grow faster than squamous one, and such rapid course can be a possibility. This is indeed so sad but I am afraid that this might be the actual truth.

Hope this has answered your query, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
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Answered by
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Dr. Saddiq Ulabidin

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2011

Answered : 3339 Questions

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How long does esophageal cancer take to grow in the esophagus?

Brief Answer: The growth rate can vary from individual to individual Detailed Answer: Hi! Welcome to Health Care Magic! Thanks for sharing your concerns with us. We will try to help you in best way possible. First of all, it is sad to know what you and your father had to go through. Based on the history you have shared, it seems improbable though, as GI Endocopy is a very accurate test. Everything is directly being visualized in camera in the course of endoscope through esophagus, stomach and intestine. So it is very unlikely to miss some thing as straight as that. Everything suspicious is reported and if seen, sampled for biopsy so if they had not sent anything suspicious for biopsy so it is possible that they hadn't seen any such lesion at that time. Other possibility is that it grew within 4 months up to grade 4 which is also a rare incidence but it may be the real case. As adenocarcinoma can grow faster than squamous one, and such rapid course can be a possibility. This is indeed so sad but I am afraid that this might be the actual truth. Hope this has answered your query, if you have any more questions, feel free to ask. Regards.