Esophageal Cancer

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Endoscopic Mucosal Resection

Doctors may be able to remove all of a small, early stage esophageal cancer that has not gone deeper than the lining (mucosa) using endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR).

For this procedure you are sedated (given medicine to make you sleepy and relaxed). A tube called an endoscope is inserted into your mouth or nose and down into your esophagus. The endoscope has a light and a tiny camera on the end that takes close-up images of your esophagus. These images are projected onto a video monitor in the exam room.

During endoscopy, instruments can be used to remove (resect) a small amount of tissue. In EMR, the doctor uses the endoscope to inject fluid under the esophageal lining to raise the abnormal area. Then the doctor cuts out this tissue. The tissue is examined under a microscope to determine if cancer is present and what type of cancer it is.

EMR can be used both to diagnose cancer and, if all the cancer is removed this way, to treat cancer.