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Saturday, May 10, 2008

After treatment for oesophageal cancer

After your treatment is completed, you will have regular check-ups and possibly scans. You will probably continue to have these for several years. Many people find that they get very anxious for a while before the appointments. This is natural and it may help to get support from family, friends or a support organisation.

These appointments are a good opportunity to discuss with your doctor any concerns or problems you may have. If you notice any new symptoms between check-ups, or are anxious about anything, contact your doctor or specialist nurse for advice.

After your treatment you may find that you feel more tired than usual and have a poor appetite. You are quite likely to feel very full; even after eating just small amounts. It can take several months to feel better after treatment and up to a year to adjust to the changes in your digestive system. It may be many months before you are able to eat a more normal-sized meal and the diarrhoea stops. If you find you have difficulties with swallowing again after treatment it does not necessarily mean that the cancer is coming back; it can be caused by the treatment itself. Your doctor may suggest dilatation to deal with this problem.

For people whose treatment is over apart from regular check-ups, our section on adjusting to life after cancer treatment gives useful advice on how to keep healthy and adjust to life after cancer.


It can be hard to judge the best time to go back to work. Your decision if and when to go back is likely to depend mainly on the type of work that you do and whether or not your income is affected. It is important to do what is right for you.

Getting back into your normal routine can be very helpful and you may want to return to work as soon as possible. Many people find that going back to work as soon as they feel strong enough gives them an opportunity to forget their worries, as they become involved with their job and colleagues again. Talk to your employer about your situation – it may be possible for you to work part-time or job share.

On the other hand it can take a long time to recover fully from treatment for oesophageal cancer, and it may be many months before you feel ready to return to work. Do not feel pressurised into taking on too much, too soon.

Your consultant or GP will be able to help you decide when and if you should return to work.

Our section on work and cancer, gives information about employment rights and financial issues for people with cancer.

Travel insurance

If you have had cancer it can be more difficult to get travel insurance. We have a section about travel and cancer which includes a list of travel insurance companies who offer insurance to people with medical conditions including cancer.

Via: http://www.cancerbackup.org.uk

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