In case esophageal cancer has progressed to its last stage among the 4 esophageal cancer stages. The focus of the treatment shifts to care on symptom relief along with the quality of life. Here, you need to keep in mind that the journey of every individual is unique.
Still, there are some common threads among most individuals who are suffering from cancer, and esophageal cancer treatment is no longer effective.
As you are searching for the signs of dying from Esophageal cancer, I am assuming that someone close to yours is suffering from esophageal cancer.
The signs of dying from Esophageal cancer involve greater difficulty in swallowing or dysphagia, along with some other common symptoms of other cancer types. They are as below.
- Breathing troubles.
- The onset of pain.
- Swings in mood and also awareness.
Here, I like to mention that medications and also some other forms of treatments may assist in easing some of the symptoms and signs of the end stage. For all those individuals who are experiencing end-of-life challenges, Palliative care should be a priority for them.
At this stage, no one should hesitate to share information or ask questions about their emotional and physical needs.
Here, in this article, I will not only talk about the signs of dying from Esophageal cancer but will also talk about the things you need to do.
What Is Esophageal Cancer?
The Esophagus is a long, hollow tube, which runs to your stomach from your throat. The purpose of it is to move the food you swallow to your stomach from the back of your throat to be digested.
Now, the particular type of cancer that occurs in the esophagus is called esophagus cancer. Usually, it begins in the cells, which line the inside of the esophagus. Anywhere along the esophagus, this specific type of cancer can happen.
Studies have shown that more men than women suffer from esophageal cancer.
You might be surprised to know that it is the 6th most common reason for cancer deaths worldwide. Within different geographical locations, incidence rates vary. Also, in some specific regions, higher rates of esophageal cancer might be attributed to alcohol and tobacco use or obesity, or any specific nutritional habits.
Early Signs And Symptoms Of Esophageal Cancer
During the initial stage, or early days, esophageal cancer does not show any obvious signs and symptoms. When the signs start to appear, the most common symptom is dysphagia. Bit-sized portions, eating regular might make you feel like you are choking or something has stuck in your throat.
Softer foods and trying smaller bites, along with consuming plenty of liquids, might help you for a while. Here are some early signs and symptoms.
- Indigestion or heartburn.
- Chest pressure, burning, or pain.
- Unexpected weight loss.
Signs Of Dying From Esophageal Cancer
Signs of dying from esophageal cancer typically mean the last stage or stage 4 of esophageal cancer signs and symptoms.
As the disease progresses, esophageal symptoms tend to worsen, and cancer also metastasizes. For example, dysphagia might reach a point where only a liquid-only diet is necessary.
Other symptoms and signs of dying from esophageal cancer are mentioned below.
- Labored breathing.
- Sore throat and worsening cough.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Difficulty speaking above a whisper and greater hoarseness.
- Joint and bone pain.
- Fatigue can be brought on by anemia that is triggered by blood loss, poor sleep due to medication side effects or pain, cancer treatments, and some specific medications.
Esophageal Cancer Treatment For Signs Of Dying From Esophageal Cancer
When you are searching for signs of dying from esophageal cancer, knowing about the treatments is also necessary. Basically, the treatments to ease the discomfort and pain of the end-stage symptoms include medication along with surgical procedures.
Some of these treatments might interfere with the quality of life of an individual or the end-of-life desires of an individual.
In case swallowing is becoming too challenging, esophageal dilation might be an option.
In this particular procedure, a health care professional extends a balloon-like, small cylinder into the esophagus to gently stretch the tissue along with widening the opening for liquids and food to pass.
Another similar procedure also includes the placement of a stent in the esophagus. It is done to keep it open.
In case the procedure of widening the esophagus is not reasonable or not a considerable option, a healthcare professional might be able to insert a feeding tube. This tube supplies nutrients either into the stomach or small intestine or directly into a blood vessel.
In order to prevent malnutrition along with extending life expectancy, this particular procedure is performed. Although these are more common in hospice settings or in hospitals. There are some feeding tubes that can be used at home as well.
Here, a trained palliative care nurse can provide instructions for using these.
Healthcare professionals might also use a laser beam that is aimed at the cancerous tissue, which is responsible for narrowing the esophagus. Thai beam destroys the tissue and improves swallowing along with digestion.
In order to ease some other symptoms, like pain, doctors and the health sector have various types of medications along with ways of delivering medications in case swallowing pills is too difficult.
When we are talking about pain medications, I like to inform you that they typically fall under 2 categories, and they are;
In recent years, opioids, like oxycodone and fentanyl, have deserved to get considerable attention for their addictive nature, along with the tragic stories of individuals who have misused these medications.
But, when these are used properly under the strict care of a doctor, opioids can actually be effective treatments for pain in the final stage of cancer, along with some other conditions. When non-opioid pain relievers, like Tylenol and Advil, are not that effective, these opioid medications are prescribed.
What To Do
Always remember that everyone greets their final days in their own way. Some individuals might have moments of fear or sadness. On the other hand, some individuals often stay at peace and accept what is ahead.
In case you are with someone, who is showing signs of dying from Esophageal cancer, you should ensure that they are physically comfortable. At the same time, words of comfort are also needed.
They might wish to complete all their unfinished business, like resolving financial concerns, relationship conflicts, or the distribution of their special belongings. Here, you always have to be prepared to listen patiently and also accept whatever comes from the individual in this critical situation.
Always offer the maximum support that you can give during their last days.
Although esophageal cancer chemotherapy is an effective treatment, when an individual is experiencing signs of dying from Esophageal cancer, the only treatment you can offer is some medicines and care to make the person feel a little better. In case you have any other questions or queries, write that in the comment section, and I will try to come up with a solution as soon as possible. Till then, take care of your loved ones.