Oesophageal cancer treatment
The most important factor in planning treatment for oesophageal cancer is the stage of the disease. Your treatment will also depend on your age, nutritional needs, medical history and general health.
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.
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Improve diet and nutrition
People with oesophageal cancer often lose a lot of weight and can become malnourished. Your doctor will usually refer you to a dietitian for advice on ways to reduce the weight loss through changes to your diet, liquid supplements or a feeding tube. This will help improve your strength, lessen side effects, and lead to better treatment outcomes.
If you are a smoker, you will be encouraged to stop smoking before surgery. If you continue to smoke, you may not respond as well to treatment and smoking may make any side effects you experience worse. For support, see your doctor or call Quitline on 13 7848.
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
Download a PDF booklet on this topic.
Prof David Watson, Senior Consultant Surgeon, Oesophago-gastric Surgery Unit, Flinders Medical Centre, and Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Flinders University, SA; Kate Barber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council Victoria; Katie Benton, Advanced Dietitian, Cancer Care, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, QLD; Alana Fitzgibbon, Clinical Nurse Consultant, Gastrointestinal Cancers, Royal Hobart Hospital, TAS; Christine Froude, Consumer; Dr Andrew Oar, Radiation Oncologist, Icon Cancer Centre, Gold Coast University Hospital, QLD; Dr Spiro Raftopoulos, Interventional Endoscopist and Consultant Gastroenterologist, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, WA; Grant Wilson, Consumer; Prof Desmond Yip, Clinical Director, Department of Medical Oncology, The Canberra Hospital, ACT. We also thank the health professionals, consumers and editorial teams who have worked on previous editions of this title.
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