If esophageal cancer spreads
Cancer cells can spread from the esophagus to other parts of the body and develop into a new tumour. The new tumour is called a metastasis or secondary tumour.
Understanding how a type of cancer usually grows and spreads helps your healthcare team plan your treatment and future care. If esophageal cancer spreads, it is most likely to spread to the following:
- lymph nodes near the esophagus
- lymph nodes in the neck or upper chest
- lymph nodes in the lower chest or around the stomach
- celiac lymph nodes in the abdomen
- windpipe, or trachea (sometimes causes an abnormal opening, or fistula, from the esophagus to the trachea)
- vocal chords
- adrenal glands
Great progress has been made
Some cancers, such as thyroid and testicular, have survival rates of over 90%. Other cancers, such as pancreatic, brain and esophageal, continue to have very low survival rates.