Cancer wrapped around esophagus, aorta and trachea

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January 9, 2017 at 11:46 am  #1289736    


I am trying to find out what type of cancer my Mother died from — for the family’s information. She died in 1966 with a cancer wrapped around her esophagus, aorta and trachea — it also had gone to her brain in very minute tumors — we found all this out from her autopsy. Could anyone tell me what type of cancer this was?
She had lifelong asthma with many strong attacks that took her to a hospital many times. She did not smoke. She died at age 56.

January 9, 2017 at 3:22 pm  #1289737    
JimC Forum Moderator
JimC Forum Moderator

Hi tbyrd,

Welcome to GRACE. I can understand why you would want to know this information, and I wish that we could provide a more definitive answer, but the fact is that without biopsy test results from the tumors, there is no way to be certain about the type of cancer your mother had.

That being said, we might draw some conclusions from the autopsy report. If the only tumors found were in the area of the esophagus, aorta and trachea, lung cancer is certainly a possibility, since it doesn’t seem to have spread from other distant organs. In terms of family health history, lung cancer does not tend to have a strong component of inherited genes. You can read about the connection between heredity and lung cancer here.

Other types of cancer have a greater genetic component, as discussed on this page from the American Cancer Society. Since the autopsy report did not reveal any indication of the presence of these cancers, it may be that the history of cancer in your family, at least in terms of your mother’s cancer, may not be especially significant.

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Jul 2008 Wife Liz (51/never smoker) Dx Stage IV NSCLC EGFR exon 19
4 cycles Carbo/alimta, 65% shrinkage
Tarceva maintenance
Mar 2010 progression, added Alimta, stable
Sep 2010 multiple brain mets, WBR
Oct 2010 large pericardial effusion, tamponade
Jan 2011 progression, start abraxane
Jun 2011-New liver, brain mets, add Tarceva
Oct 2011-Dx Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis; pulsed Tarceva
At rest Nov 4 2011
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