The esophagus is a narrow muscular tube which connects the mouth to the stomach. Cancers of this region are dreaded due to the complexity and the difficulty of treating them. They mainly present with progressive difficulty in swallowing, vomiting (sometimes blood stained) and weight loss. Modern treatment protocols have however drastically improved the outcomes and the quality of life in these patients. Treatment includes surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Based on the location of the tumour, pre surgical (neo-adjuvant) therapy in the form of either chemotherapy or combined chemo-radiation is given. Surgery includes removal of part or entire esophagus and re formation of a tube for food passage using the stomach. Newer minimally invasive techniques such as thoracoscopic esophagectomy or robotic esophagectomy have shown to result in faster healing and less post operative pain or complications.
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