Cancer of the Esophagus (cont.)
Esophageal Cancer Treatment
Treatment for esophageal cancer depends on the results of tests and your underlying health.
- People with advanced heart or lung disease may not be candidates for aggressive therapy.
- In many cases, the esophageal cancer has advanced too far for any available treatment to work.
- In these cases, the doctor considers the following procedures:
- Placing a metal or plastic tube (stent) in the esophagus to allow passage of food and liquids
- Radiation therapy
- Photodynamic therapy
- Widening the esophagus or laser destruction of the esophageal tumor
- In otherwise healthy people with localized disease, surgery may offer the best chance at long-term survival.
- Surgery involves removing the diseased portion of the esophagus and connecting the remaining portion to the stomach.
- Preoperative chemotherapy and radiation often accompany surgery.
- Studies now under way will determine whether combination chemotherapy and radiation therapy without surgery is as effective as surgery in lengthening long-term survival.
Robert J Fingerote, MD, MSc, BSc
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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