Sunday, August 22, 2010


A 50 year old man came to see a physician with severe anemia and difficulty in swallowing. He had these symptoms for the last five months. Associated with that he also noted that his stools were dark (malenic - meaning there is blood in it). And he gradually loss his weight; from an astounding 130 kg to less than 70 kg during these 5 months. He could not take anything solid.

His friends including a doctor neighbor had adviced him to seek treatment. He went to his usual bomoh and tukang urut and once to a homeopathic practitioner. Last week, he could not swallow anything and only then he saw the physician.

On examinaton he was grossly wasted and dehydrated, and pucat lesi (Hb 5.4 gm%). After transfusing him with 4 units of blood, the physician referred him to me for scope (OGDS). He initially refused (couldn't imaging having a camera being pushed down his throat!), but after convincing him that there wouldn't be any pain, I managed to do the procedure. There was an obstructing tumour in his esophagus. Biopsy showed a well-differentiated adenocarcinoma and the CT-scan showed :

A huge cancer in the lower end of the esophagus extending into the stomach ( or vice-versa) with metastatic nodes. There is a trickle of contrast going into the stomach.
So, now with an massive cancer (adenocarcinoma) in the esophago-gastric junction, 'inoperable'; he is left with not many options.
This type of cancer does not respond to radiotherapy, poor results with chemotherapy and surgery has high morbidity and mortality. As a palliative measure, a stent could be placed so that he would be able to take something orally.
And of course his days are numbered.
To make the thing worst; after talking to him many times, he didn't seem to understanding ......
Kelantan, oh Kelantan ku
or rather
oghe kelate, oghe kelate....gapo nak jadi ni?

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