Esophagus Cancer Overview

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Treating Esophagus Cancer TOPICS

How is cancer of the esophagus treated?

This information represents the views of the doctors and nurses serving on the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Information Database Editorial Board. These views are based on their interpretation of studies published in medical journals, as well as their own professional experience.
The treatment information in this document is not official policy of the Society and is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your cancer care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.
Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

About treatment

After the cancer is found and staged, your doctor will talk to you about a treatment plan. There is a lot for you to think about when choosing the best way to treat or manage your cancer. There may be more than one treatment to choose from. Give yourself time to think about the information you have been given.

You may want to get a second opinion. A second opinion can give you more information and help you feel good about the treatment you choose.

The main options for treatment of cancer of the esophagus include:

Other treatments may also be used for early cancers and pre-cancers of the esophagus. Some of these help relieve symptoms such as pain and blockage.

You may have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors might include:

  • A thoracic surgeon: a doctor who treats diseases of the chest with surgery.
  • A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation.
  • A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
  • A gastroenterologist: a doctor who specializes in treatment of diseases of the digestive system.

Many other specialists may be involved in your care as well.

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