Treating Esophageal Cancer
Depending upon the stage of the cancer, various treatments may be used. Many patients will have a combination of these treatments, based upon their individual condition.
Very small cancerous tumors can be removed, along with the surrounding tissue. This surgery, for early stage esophageal cancer, is performed using endoscopic surgery. In more advanced cases, a portion of your esophagus may be removed, as well as the nearby lymph nodes. The remaining section of the esophagus is then reattached to the stomach, performed by raising the stomach to meet that section. A more extensive surgery, esophagogastrostomy, involves removing a portion of the esophagus as well as the upper part of the stomach.
There are range of cancer-killing drugs that are used before and after surgery. The purpose is to kill the cancer cells, and shrink a tumor for surgery, and after surgery, to kill remaining cancer cells. The type of chemo used will vary, based upon the specific condition of the patient.
Radiation therapy is often employed in conjunction with chemotherapy. Radiation therapy may be used for patients who are suffering from a larger tumor, making it impossible for foods to pass into the stomach.