Alternate Names : Cancer of the Esophagus
What can be done to prevent the disease?
The best way to prevent esophageal cancer is to avoid tobacco and alcohol.
People who have Barrett's esophagus need aggressive treatment of their GERD to prevent esophageal cancer. Treatment for GERD may include the following:
fundoplication, a surgical procedure that strengthens the esophageal sphincter
GI stimulants that empty the stomach faster, such as metoclopramide
H2 blockers, such as cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine
proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, or rabeprazole
People with Barrett's esophagus may have regular endoscopies, which use a lighted tube to examine the esophagus. Biopsies, which involve removing a small piece of tissue, are sometimes needed. These screenings may detect an esophageal cancer early, when it is most treatable.
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
Esophageal cancer is a deadly disease. The 5-year survival rate is poor, even with aggressive treatment. It often recurs, despite surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
What are the risks to others?
Esophageal cancer is not contagious. It poses no risk to others.