70 year-old music legend, Edward Mahoney “Eddie Money”, revealed in a video released by his realty TV series “Real Money” that he has stage 4 esophageal cancer.
The episode airs on AXS TV on September 12 and discusses how he went in for a routine screen when he was diagnosed.
He recently underwent heart valve surgery and reports say he also battled pneumonia.
Despite the cancer having spread to his liver, lymph nodes and stomach, he appears optimistic saying cancer has come a long way since the 1950’s and 60’s and “everyday above ground is a good day.”
What is esophageal cancer?
Esophageal cancer can occur anywhere along the gullet/food pipe. There are different types such as adenocarcinoma (lower portion near the stomach), more commonly seen in Caucasians, and squamous cell carcinoma (middle to upper esophagus) more commonly seen in African Americans. It’s the 6th common cause of cancer death worldwide and comprises 1% of all cancers diagnosed in the US.
According to the American Cancer Society, estimates for 2019 include:
About 17,650 new esophageal cancer cases diagnosed (13,750 in men and 3,900 in women)
About 16,080 deaths from esophageal cancer (13,020 in men and 3,060 in women)
What are the symptoms of esophageal cancer?
Early esophageal cancer may not exhibit any signs. However if it progresses, symptoms may include any of the following:
- abdominal pain
- feeling full despite not eating
- vomiting blood
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- chest pain
What are the risk factors for esophageal cancer?
Although esophageal cancer appears to afflict men more than women, risk factors include:
- Alcohol use
- Frequent imbibing of hot liquids
- Chronic GERD or heartburn that may have led to esophagus lining changes such as Barrett’s Esophagus disease
- Vitamin deficiency
- Drinking liquids that contain lye, an alkaline chemical present in many soaps
- Prior radiation to the chest
What is the prognosis of esophageal cancer?
If caught early and localized, the 5-year survival rate is over 45%. However, if it has spread, the 5 year survival rate can range any where from 5-20%.
How is esophageal cancer treated?
There are a variety of treatments for esophageal cancer including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
Daliah Wachs, MD, FAAFP is a nationally syndicated radio personality on GCN Network, KDWN, and iHeart Radio.