Esophagus Cancer Overview

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What Is Esophagus Cancer? TOPICS

What is cancer?

Some people with cancer may want to know the survival rates for their type of cancer. Others may not find the numbers helpful, or may even not want to know them. If you decide that you don’t want to know them, stop reading here and skip to the next section.

The 5-year survival rate is the percentage of patients who are alive 5 years after diagnosis. Five-year relative survival rates compare the number of people who are still alive 5 years after their cancer was found to the survival of others the same age who don’t have cancer. This is a better way to see the impact that cancer can have on survival. Of course, patients might live more than 5 years after their cancer is found.

Survival rates for esophagus cancer are grouped in terms of localized, regional, and distant. Localized means that the cancer is only growing in the esophagus. Regional means that the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues. Distant means that the cancer has spread to organs or lymph nodes away from the esophagus.


    5-Year Relative Survival Rate







These numbers do not separate squamous cell carcinomas from adenocarcinomas, although adenocarcinomas are generally thought to have a slightly better outlook (prognosis) overall.

While these numbers give you an overall picture, keep in mind that every person is unique and statistics can’t predict what will happen in your case. Talk with your cancer care team if you have questions about your own chances of a cure, or how long you might expect to live. They know your situation best.

Last Medical Review: 12/26/2012
Last Revised: 12/26/2012