What Are the Treatments of Esophageal Cancer?

Q:
What Are the Treatments of Esophageal Cancer?

A:
Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus. If you are dignosed with the cancer, you doctor will recommend proper treatments for you, according to your:

  • Cancer’s stage
  • Overall health
  • Preferences for treatment
  • The type of cells involved in your cancer

Five types of treatments in the following are available for patients with esophageal cancer.

Surgery

Surgery is the most common treatment for cancer of the esophagus. The surgeon will remove part of your esophagus and connect the remaining healthy part to the stomach. So the patient can still swallow. The surgeon may use a plastic tube or part of your intestine to make the connection (see pictures below).

Three-panel drawing showing esophageal cancer surgery; first panel shows area of esophagus with cancer, middle panel shows cancer and nearby tissue removed, last panel shows the stomach pulled up and joined to the remaining esophagus.
Early-stage cancer with high-grade dysplasia may be removed by endoscopic resection. The doctor may insert an endoscope with a light and a lens through a cut in the skin or an opening in the body.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.

There are two types of radiation therapy:

  • External radiation therapy
  • Internal radiation therapy
Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells. It will kill the cells or stop them from dividing.

Laser therapy

Laser therapy uses a laser beam to kill cancer cells.

Electrocoagulation

Electrocoagulation is the use of an electric current to kill cancer cells.

 

Keywords: treatments of esophageal cancer

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