Esophageal cancer treatment and diagnosis

Esophageal cancer

Esophageal cancer is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths worldwide, but its uncommon in the U.S. in comparison. Despite this, early diagnosis and treatment can mean a positive outcome for many. We have the facilities to offer several different treatments that can improve your esophageal cancer prognosis, help manage the condition and minimize discomfort and pain. Our team will work with you to decide on the most appropriate treatment plan that will be tailored to you and your needs.

Chapter 1

Diagnostics

Esophageal cancer is often diagnosed with a barium swallow study, endoscopy and a biopsy, although your doctor may use other tests to identify the problem. You may also have imaging scans, such as MRI and CT, and other tests to find out more about your cancer, where it’s located and which treatments are likely to be most effective. Some of these tests are also used to assess how well your treatment is working.

Find your nearest GenesisCare center to find out what diagnostic tests and scans are available in your local area. Whatever your outcome, our expert team will support you throughout your treatment journey.

Chapter 2

Surgery

We work with expert teams of surgeons who are specially trained in surgical removal of benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors of the esophagus. The type of surgery you’ll have will depend on the location of your tumor and it’ll only be recommended if the cancer has not spread too far from the esophagus.

Esophagectomy

Esophagectomy is a procedure where your surgeon removes the part of your esophagus that contains the cancer as well as some nearby lymph nodes. The remaining part of the esophagus will be then reconnected.

Esophagogastrectomy

If the cancer is located in the lower part of the esophagus, a large part of the stomach may also be removed, this procedure is called an esophagogastrectomy. The portion of the stomach that is left will then be pulled up and reconnected to the esophagus.

Chapter 3

Radiation therapy

At GenesisCare we specialize in advanced radiation therapy techniques that are designed to be effective while minimizing the side effects you’ll experience. As the largest radiation oncology provider in the U.S. and a global leader in cancer care, our broad experience and world-class expertise means we offer advanced and innovative radiotherapy as standard.

Our latest-generation machines are built to deliver highly targeted radiation beams. The accuracy of these treatments, together with the expertise of our teams, helps our patients achieve the best possible outcomes.

The type of esophageal cancer treatment your radiation oncologist recommends will depend on your diagnosis, if the cancer has spread to other parts of your body, your general health and personal preferences.

Esophageal cancer treatments

External beam radiation therapy (EBRT)

At GenesisCare our esophageal cancer treatments include external beam radiation therapy (EBRT), where radiation is delivered from outside the body, and internal radiation therapy (IRT), where the radiation dose is given via a source implanted within the body.

Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT-)

IMRT is an advanced external beam radiation therapy technique where the beams of radiation are precisely shaped to exactly match your tumor and damage to adjacent healthy tissues is limited.

Brachytherapy

Brachytherapy is an internal radiation therapy that delivers radioactive pellets to the tumor site through small plastic tubes called catheters or an implant. This is usually done in one session and can either be removed after 20 minutes (HDR brachytherapy) or stay in the esophagus for several days (LDR brachytherapy).

Image of the MR-Linac Techonology
Chapter 4

Medical oncology

At GenesisCare, we offer various drug therapies and a wide range of the latest anti-cancer drugs for esophageal cancer treatment, including hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy refers to drugs that destroy cancer cells. Our expert teams may recommend chemotherapy before or after other treatments, or on its own. It can be combined with radiation therapy (chemoradiation) before or after surgery.

For advanced esophageal cancer, we use chemotherapy to shrink tumors, relieve symptoms and improve your esophageal cancer prognosis.

Targeted therapy

As researchers know more about esophageal cancer, they have developed new treatments that can specifically target it. We use targeted therapy to seek and attack cellular activity that the cancer depends on to survive and grow. They are used depending on the specific genetic make up of your cancer. Types of targeted therapy for esophageal cancer include:

  • Monoclonal antibodies – certain esophageal cancer cells have too much of the HER2 protein on their cell surface, which can lead to abnormal cell growth. Monoclonal antibodies are used to treat advanced esophageal cancers with these changes.
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors – suitable for some esophageal cancers, they work by blocking the protein VEGF which promotes new blood vessel formation and helps tumors grow
  • NTRK inhibitors – some esophageal cancers have changes in a gene called NTRK which can lead to abnormal cell growth and cancer. These drugs are used for advanced or inoperable esophageal cancers to target proteins made by these genes
Chapter 6

Why choose GenesisCare?

People choose GenesisCare so they can access the latest technologies, effective treatments and personalized care that’s tailored to them without delay.

Cancer treatment and care is constantly evolving and we offer the world’s latest evidence-based treatments that have been shown to benefit patients. By working together closely, our multidisciplinary teams of oncologists, surgeons, radiation therapists and other healthcare specialists provide care that’s focused on you, not just your cancer.

We know that for many people, cancer is a life-changing experience and our goal is to help you through it in the most positive way possible. That’s why as well as offering exceptional cancer treatments, we also provide you with support and resources for your cancer journey—including advice about nutrition and exercise, expert help for managing side effects and information on local support groups.

Designing better care

Our centers are conveniently located throughout the United States, and each location has a dedicated Office Financial Counselor on hand to help you with your paperwork and answer your questions. We accept most insurance plans as well as Medicare Part B, which covers physician services, including radiation therapy.