Esophageal Cancer Treatment in Houston: An Overview
Esophageal cancer treatment in Houston offers a number of treatment options that can serve as your best defense in combating your diagnosis.
If you have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the next step is to begin your treatment plan. The following treatments are the most common course of action for fighting esophageal cancer.
There are different surgeries utilized for treating esophageal cancer, but they all primarily aim to remove the cancer. An esophagectomy is performed in order to remove a large portion of the esophagus, as well as part of the top of the stomach. Endoscopic surgery involves a scope being inserted into the esophagus, so that surgery can be performed locally through the scope. Endoscopic surgery is only affective if the cancer affects only the mucosa of the esophagus.
With radiation, radioactive material is targeted at the cancerous cells via an external machine or through small tubes inserted into the esophagus. Radiation might be used alone, or in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy. The benefit of radiation over surgery is that it is non-invasive and less traumatic for patients.
Chemotherapy is a medication that can be administered either orally or intravenously, which is designed to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy can also be used with radiation or surgery, or it can be administered alone to help alleviate the symptoms of esophageal cancer. The major drawback of chemotherapy is dealing with the negative side-effects inherent with any chemotherapy treatment.
Photodynamic Therapy (also known as PDT) involves the injection of a light-sensitive drug and laser that help kill cancer cells.
Additional Treatment Options:
- Electrocoagulation: Uses electrical currents to help destroy esophageal cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy: Fights cancer by boosting the patient’s immune system.
- Gene Therapy: Currently being researched to treat unhealthy DNA that causes cancer.
Surgery is typically used as the first and most effective defense in fighting esophageal cancer. Stage II and stage III esophageal cancer might require radiation, chemotherapy, and additional treatments. Chemotherapy and radiation treatment are also useful for patients who are unable to undergo surgery because of additional health concerns.
For patients with stage IV esophageal cancer, the major focus is on palliative care which aims to alleviate pain and maximize comfort. Only your trained physician can design a treatment plan that best addresses your particular condition, but it’s a good idea to increase your knowledge base before beginning treatment.
If you suspect that you might have esophageal cancer, chronic acid reflux, or GERD, please contact Bay Area Gastroenterology Clinic at 281-480-6264 to schedule an appointment.
For more information, please contact:
Bay Area Gastroenterology P. A.
1015 Medical Center
Webster, Texas 77598
f: 281-480-4046 Methodist St. John
2060 Space Park Drive
Nassau Bay, TX 77058
f: 281-339-7623 Memorial Southeast
11920 Astoria Boulevard
Houston, TX 77089
f: 281-484-0740 Pearland Office
10905 Memorial Herman Drive
Pearland, Texas 77548