Oesophageal cancer is where an abnormal growth of tumour cells has developed in your oesophagus (food pipe or gullet). This can lead to symptoms such as trouble swallowing, loss of weight, reflux, pain or passage of internal bleeding. It can also be picked up incidentally during an endoscopy or xray scan. The growth may stay localised to where it began, or it may grow into surrounding structures or spread to glands or other parts of the body. This relates to the stage of the disease. Management is very specialised and requires diagnosis, tests to establish the extent of disease and a determination of how to treat it. This treatment may be one or a combination of endoscopic removal (removed internally with a gastroscope passed down the throat), surgery (involving reconstruction of the food pipe and stomach), chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Patients will be discussed at specialist multidisciplinary team meetings to optimise management.
Surgery is a complex operation involving surgery on both the abdomen and chest. The reconstruction of the food pipe allows patients to eat relatively normally but in reduced portions. Keyhole (minimally invasive) surgery can usually be undertaken to help recovery. Surgery should be undertaken by a surgeon and team experienced in performing surgery on the stomach and for cancer.
Dr. Le Page is regularly involved with management of patients with oesophageal cancer and he audits the outcomes of his patients to ensure the highest standard of care. If you feel a specialist review may be indicated for you, please discuss with your GP and call (02) 9767 7908 to arrange an appointment with Dr. Le Page. Your individual circumstance will be clarified by Dr. Le Page during your review.