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Health Information Center

Treatments for Esophageal Cancer

  • Amy Scholten, MPH
Publication Type:

Condition InDepth

Treatments for Esophageal Cancer

The goal of early stage treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible. It is also to try to keep the esophagus working. Other treatment may help to keep cancer from spreading or coming back. A variety of treatments may be used.

Esophageal cancer is often found in later stages. In later stages, the goal may be comfort and easing symptoms. This is because late stage cancer treatments can be difficult. The risks and benefits need to be considered. Counseling or support groups can help the patient and family.

The goal is to have the best possible outcome. The healthcare team will provide support. It is important to go to all advised appointments.

Esophageal cancer treatment includes:

Many patients want to take part in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are used to see if new treatments work and are safe. More information can be found at the US National Institutes of Health website.


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  • Esophagus cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003098-pdf.pdf. Accessed March 15, 2021.
  • Short MW, Burgers KG, et al. Esophageal Cancer. Am Fam Physician. 2017;95(1):22-28.
  • Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/esophageal/patient/esophageal-treatment-pdq#section/_159. Accessed March 15, 2021.


  • Mohei Abouzied, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.