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Diagnosing Painful Swallowing
toliviac posted:
I've read a host of information regarding painful swallowing, the symptoms and possible causes. However I need to ask a question and can't wait until the next doctor appointment to have a camera inserted in to my (wife's) mouth. I dont want to alarm her but I'm super nervous about this test, for obvious reasons.


She has intermittent pain when swallowing and I was wondering for all the folks out there who may or may not have been through this, what are the chances that intermittent pain means cancer?

I would imagine that if there was a tumor, that this would come on gradually (the pain during swallowing) and the eventually get to the point where you would need to go to the doctor. But in her case it may happen today but then not for a week or so.

Any comments, feedback or links to literature other than this site would be greatly appreciated.
annette030 responded:
Everyone worries about cancer if they have anything wrong with them that has not been diagnosed yet.

I don't know what is causing your wife's pain, but there are many different things that could cause it besides cancer. Scratches in the lining of the esophagus is one of the main causes of pain when swallowing, sometimes they start to heal, then break open again and cause pain.

Don't worry before you even get a diagnosis. Try and hold on until the test is complete and the doctor has a chance to take a look, he can see directly and take biopsies if need be.

Take care, Annette

PS, Your wife is lucky to have you looking out for her.
toliviac replied to annette030's response:
Hi Annette030,

I want to thank you for your kind words and support. As you stated, it turned out to be something very common. However, how we got to that point was quite exciting and dramatic all at once.

In any case, she has "schatzki's ring" which is a congenital defect which is a small tightening of the esophagus and it causes the entry way to narrow just a bit , which causes eating and sometimes drinking to be painful. The only way to treat this is by endocscopic probe / tool that stretches this bit of skin until its "fixed". The procedure is only temporary and it's entirely possible that she will need the procedure done again in 3 to 5 years and also the chance is she may never have this problem again. However, according to the doctors, it's most likely she will be back.

The most important thing is that it's not the dreaded C word and she is most relieved as I am as well. Best of luck to you Annette. Thanks for your reply.
annette030 replied to toliviac's response:
I am so glad it wasn't anything serious like cancer.

Only she can decide what to do next, but it sounds like it won't be too bad.

Take care, Annette

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