Esophageal cancer

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Treatments for stage 0 esophageal cancer

The following are treatment options for stage 0 esophageal cancer. Your healthcare team will suggest treatments based on your needs and work with you to develop a treatment plan. They will usually do a nutritional assessment before treatment begins. You may need a feeding tube to make sure you get enough nutrition during treatment.

You may be offered one or more of the following treatments.

Surgery

You may be offered esophagectomy for stage 0 esophageal cancer. This surgery removes part or all of the esophagus and nearby lymph nodes. Sometimes part of the stomach is also removed.

Endoscopic treatments

You may be offered endoscopic treatments for stage 0 esophageal cancer.

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is sometimes used to treat a small tumour that is only in the inner layer, or mucosa, and has not spread to the other underlying layers of the esophagus. During EMR, the doctor injects a liquid or uses suction to first lift a tumour away from the submucosa and then removes it. If you have EMR, your healthcare team will do close follow-up to check that the cancer has not come back. They will use an endoscope to check your esophagus every 3 months for the first year, and then once a year after that.

Photodynamic therapy (PDT) destroys cancer cells using a photosensitizing drug, which makes cells sensitive to light.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) uses a high-frequency electrical current to destroy cancer cells.

Clinical trials

You may be asked if you want to join a clinical trial for esophageal cancer. Find out more about clinical trials.

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Making progress in the cancer fight

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The 5-year cancer survival rate has increased from 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.

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