My husband doesn't know if he should chemo before the operation or not can anyone please help?
Hello and thank you for your post in Ask the Nurses,
I am afraid that we are not the best people to tell you if your husband should have chemotherapy before surgery, this decision should really be made with his specialist doctor who needs to tell him what the benefits and risks could be. I think if the doctor has recommended it then it is most probably in your husband's best interest to have it. However, if he has been given a choice this can sometimes be a difficult decision to make and he should be fully aware of the pro's and con's of having it. We have some information about having chemotherapy on our website, click here to see it.
You say that that your husband's cancer is T2 N0 M0 this means it is a stage 1b. I have looked to see what the current guidelines for treating this stage of oseophageal cancer are and it says that chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy might need to be given before and after surgery. The idea of giving it before surgery (this is known as neoadjuvant treatment) is to reduce the size of the cancer as this can sometimes make surgery easier.
I do think that both you and your husband would benefit by speaking with the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) involved in his care. I say this because this nurse knows far more about his situation than we do and can give you more information about having the neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
I realise that this is a difficult decision to make but as long as enough information is given the patient can make an informed decision.
Please get back to us if you need any more information or support. You may find it helpful to talk things through with one of the nurses on our helpline. The number to call is Freephone 0808 800 4040 and the lines are open from 9am till 5pm Monday to Friday.