In the last decade, major strides have been made in the early diagnosis and treatment of esophageal cancer. With advanced diagnostic—including high-definition endoscopy, narrow-band imaging, and endomicroscopy—Seattle Cancer Care Alliance physicians can diagnose cancer even earlier and more accurately. This can lead to even less invasive treatments through an endoscope (no surgery) where the tumor can be removed or ablated. These outpatient procedures allow patients to resume their life immediately and have much better outcomes.
Some people with early stage esophageal cancer (stage I) have surgery to remove the cancer, which means removing part of their esophagus. For some people, this is the only cancer treatment they need. Others may also require chemotherapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, called chemoradiation—mainly if tests show that the cancer is aggressive.
Some early stage cancers may not require surgery. Instead, they may be treated with endoscopic mucosal resection to remove cancer located only in the lining of the esophagus.
All of these options are available through Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Read more about each option:
Learn about what to expect when you come for your first visit if you have early stage esophageal cancer.