Metastatic esophageal cancer (stage IV) is cancer that has spread (metastasized) to distant sites in the body, such as the lungs or the liver. Because the cancer has spread, surgery cannot remove it completely, so people with metastatic esophageal cancer typically do not have surgery as part of their treatment plan.
The main treatment to help control metastatic esophageal cancer is chemotherapy—either a standard drug (or combination of drugs) or sometimes a newer drug regimen being tested in a clinical study. Read more about chemotherapy and clinical studies at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA).
Many treatment options are available to help with the effects of metastatic disease, such as difficult or painful swallowing or blocked esophagus, to give you the best possible quality of life. This is a very important part of treatment. Your team at SCCA will offer you care to relieve any pain or other symptoms related to your cancer based on exactly how you’re affected and what your goals and preferences are. Read more about palliative care options for patients with advanced cancer.
Learn about what to expect when you come for your first visit if you have already been diagnosed with metastatic disease.