Esophageal cancer is a cancerous (malignant) tumor of the esophagus, the muscular tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach. Esophageal cancer is when malignant (cancer) cells grow in the esophagus. There are two common forms of esophageal cancer and they are named for the cells that become malignant (cancerous).
Your treatment options will depend on the type of cancer, the stage of your cancer and your overall health.
Staging of esophageal cancer, using endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), is extremely important since it helps differentiate treatment options. EUS combines traditional endoscopy with ultrasound imaging to visualize structures within the wall of the GI tract and beyond. A miniature ultrasound transducer is housed at the tip of an endoscope, allowing for visualization of a broad range of structures from the esophagus to rectum. From within the esophagus, the mediastinum and associated lymph nodes can be seen, and diseased nodes can be sampled using fine-needle aspiration (FNA).
Staging results can help identify treatment modalities for esophageal cancer, including:
Other treatments that may be used to help the patient swallow include endoscopic dilation of the esophagus (sometimes with placement of a stent to keep the esophagus dilated).
The Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has established an international reputation for providing the best in experimental and traditional cancer treatments. Learn more about the center »