How Doctors ID the Best Treatment for Esophageal Cancer

Choosing the right approach for the right patient
How doctors ID the best treatment for esophageal cancer

Successful treatment of cancer of the esophagus hinges on finding the right treatment for the right patient at the right time.

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Esophageal cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the esophagus, which is the hollow, muscular tube that moves food and liquid from the throat to the stomach.

Doctors perform various tests to find out if cancer cells have spread within the esophagus or to other parts of the body — including lymph nodes, organs or blood. The stage of the cancer depends on whether it affects part of the esophagus, involves the whole esophagus, or has spread to other places in the body.

As thoracic surgeon Siva Raja, MD, PhD, explains,  it is important to know the stage of the cancer in order to plan treatment. This may include surgery to remove part or most of the esophagus, chemotherapy and/or radiation.

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