People with less advanced esophageal cancer may qualify for surgery. Esophagectomy is one type of surgery that is used, which involves removing a part of the esophagus and sometimes a portion of the stomach. After the cancer is removed, the esophagus is reconnected to the stomach. Your surgeon may also remove nearby lymph nodes.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. It’s often used along with surgery or chemotherapy to treat esophageal cancer.
Endoscopic treatments involve a surgeon passing down an endoscope into the esophagus to treat early esophageal cancers. Your physician may recommend endoscopic mucosal resection to remove a piece of the inner lining of the esophagus. After surgery, you’ll take medications to suppress acid production and help prevent the cancer from returning.
Chemotherapy uses drugs given through a vein or by mouth to destroy cancer cells.
Targeted drugs work against specific cell changes that cause cancer in the body. Your physician may recommend drugs that target HER2, a protein that helps cancer cells grow. Or you may need drugs that target new blood vessel formation or abnormal gene fusion.
Immunotherapy uses medicines that help a person’s immune system fight cancer.