If you’re affected by oesophageal cancer, you may have many questions about how it is diagnosed, treatment options, side effects and how to stay well. You can find trustworthy information about all aspects of your experience below.
Oesophageal cancer begins when abnormal cells develop in the innermost layer (mucosa) of the oesophagus.
Learn about the common symptoms of oesophageal cancer and when to see your doctor.
Find out about the tests for oesophageal cancer, how it is diagnosed and staged, and who will provide your care.
The main treatments for oesophageal cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, either alone or in combination. Treatment will be tailored to your specific situation.
Oesophageal cancer and its treatment can cause side effects. Some of these side effects are permanent and may change what you can eat, and how you digest foods and absorb essential nutrients.
Learn about follow-up care, what happens if the cancer returns, and how to look after your physical and mental health.
- What type of cancer do I have?
- Has the cancer spread? If so, where has it spread? How fast is it growing?
- Are the latest tests and treatments for this cancer available in this hospital?
- Will a multidisciplinary team be involved in my care?
- Are there clinical guidelines for this type of cancer?
- What treatment do you recommend? What is the aim of the treatment?
- Are there other treatment choices for me? If not, why not?
- If I don’t have the treatment, what should I expect?
- How long do I have to make a decision?
- I’m thinking of getting a second opinion. Can you recommend anyone?
- How long will treatment take? Will I have to stay in hospital?
- Are there any out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Medicare or my private health cover? Can the cost be reduced if I can’t afford it?
- How will I know if the treatment is working?
- Are there any clinical trials or research studies I could join?
- What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment?
- Will I have a lot of pain? What will be done about this?
- Can I work, drive and do my normal activities while having treatment?
- Will the treatment affect my sex life and fertility?
- How will the treatment affect the way I eat and digest food?
- Should I change my diet or physical activity during or after treatment?
- Are there any complementary therapies that might help me?
- How often will I need check-ups after treatment? Who should I see?
- If the cancer returns, how will I know? What treatments could I have?