Multiple management modalities in esophageal cancer: epidemiology, presentation and progression, work-up, and surgical approaches.

Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Radiation Oncology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The Oncologist (Impact Factor: 4.54). 02/2004; 9(2):137-46.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Annually, approximately 13,200 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with esophageal cancer and 12,500 die of this malignancy. Of new cases, 9,900 occur in men and 3,300 occur in women. In part I of this two-part series, we explore the epidemiology, presentation and progression, work-up, and surgical approaches for esophageal cancer. In the 1960s, squamous cell cancers made up greater than 90% of all esophageal tumors. The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinomas has risen considerably over the past two decades, such that they are now more prevalent than squamous cell cancer in the western hemisphere. Despite advances in therapeutic modalities for this disease, half the patients are incurable at presentation, and overall survival after diagnosis is grim. Evolving knowledge regarding the etiology of esophageal carcinoma may lead to better preventive methods and treatment options for early stage superficial cancers of the esophagus. The use of endoscopic ultrasound and the developing role of positron emission tomography have led to better diagnostic accuracy in this disease. For years, the standard of care for esophageal cancer has been surgery; there are several variants of the surgical approach. We will discuss combined modality approaches in part II of this series.

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