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Not able to swallow

Hi there,

My mom was recently diagnosed with lung cancer and the other day she was not able to eat, drink and swallow all of sudden. Whenever she does, it comes up and it is very painful. The doctors can't seem to figure out what it is. They have done x-rays and this morning did an ultra sound. Does this sound like anything familiar to you?

Please help.
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replied July 4th, 2009
It is difficult to say, based upon the limited information that you have provided. However, occasionally, advanced stages of lung cancer can involve the esophagus or/and the nerves that help to control swallowing, and this can cause problems with eating and swallowing. Moreover, some of the same risk factors associated with lung cancer (smoking and, to a lesser extent, increased alcohol intake) can also cause both benign and malignant disorders of throat, esophagus, and stomach. If it has not been performed already, then she should probably undergo an upper GI Series and upper GI endoscopy to rule-out some of these disorders that I have mentioned.

Sincerely/ Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

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