Treating Esophageal Cancer with Cryoablation- The Eleni Paras Story
October 10, 2019
I’m Greek, and we absolutely love food.
And now that I can eat again, I feel very blessed. I’m Eleni Paras, and
I beat cancer thanks to MedStar Georgetown University
Hospital. In 2007, I was told that I had esophageal cancer, and it’s been a long
journey over eight years. There are times when I had intractable pain. And at times,
I really did want to give up, but I knew that I couldn’t. And so after years and
years and all the treatments that I had, I still had one area that wasn’t
obliterated. And then Dr. Shafa was brought in. He’s very knowledgeable and
skillful. SHAFA: After treatment for a long time, she still had this cancer that was the
kind of high up in her esophagus, and so we provided cryoablative treatment for
this area. Cryoablation is basically freezing an area and causing eradication.
This is a very minimally invasive and rather innovative option.
It’s basically having a regular endoscopy. It’s an outpatient procedure. So
going into the mouth, we’ll place a balloon which inflates and then through
the balloon, we spray the area and we are able to adjust the cryogen, which is the liquid
nitrogen, to freeze that specific area. It happened to be very responsive in her
case, and thankfully she was fully eradicated. And, to follow up, she’s on a
yearly surveillance, and the last biopsies that we obtained, she was
completely cleared of the disease. PARAS: We beat cancer after all these years.
I’ve been a nurse for over thirty years, and I had to learn how to be the patient.
And MedStar Georgetown doesn’t just treat the cancer but the whole person. I
wasn’t just a number. They thought out of the box. They treated me with dignity.
They treated me with respect. And every time I went back for therapy and
treatments, they knew my name. They called me by name. They were so friendly to me,
and I felt like family. I’m so grateful for my brother, Peter, my sister-in-law
Marianne, my son’s Dimitri and Alexander, were all there for me. It’s just been
wonderful. Now, I can continue with my nursing and continue loving my family
and my friends. And I’m just so grateful to MedStar Georgetown. They were
outstanding, and I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t gone there. They saved my