Esophageal Cancer

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The Swedish Cancer Institute foregut cancer program is a dynamic, multidisciplinary program involving Swedish-based surgeons, gastroenterologists, oncologists and radiation oncologists along with community-based gastroenterologists and oncologists to treat esophageal and gastric cancers.


The American Cancer Society estimates that about 19,260 new esophageal cancers will be diagnosed in the United States in the year 2021. It is predicted that about 15,530 people will die of esophageal cancer in the U.S. in 2021. This malignancy affects men more commonly than women (Of the 19,260 cases, 15,310 are expected in men). This represents one percent of all cancers and nearly 10 percent of gastrointestinal cancers. Gastric cancer cases in the U.S. are expected to reach 26,560 with 16,160 in men in 2021. Learn more about esophageal cancer, including information regarding diagnosis and staging and staging as well as various types of treatment.


Patients with esophageal cancer have symptoms of food sticking or pain while swallowing food. There are two major types of esophageal cancer – adenocarcinoma and squamous carcinoma. With adenocarcinoma, the major risk factor is a long-standing history of GERD. These patients can also have Barrett’s esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous lesion. Patients who develop squamous cancer can have a history of smoking and/or alcohol ingestion. 

Patients with gastric cancer experience early satiety, weight loss or upper abdominal pain.

Treatments and Procedures

A number of treatment options are aimed at eliminating the disease to reach a state of complete remission. Swedish offers a full range of state-of-the-art treatments including:

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Research and Clinical Trials

If your physician believes you are a good candidate to participate in a clinical trial evaluating a new treatment or more effective combinations of treatments — and you agree — you will have access to the very latest in research treatments.

At any given time, the Swedish Cancer Institute offers patients more than 140 clinical-research studies involving most types of cancers.  Additionally, our physician specialists collaborate with other regional and national research groups, including  Southwest Oncology Group, National Cancer Institute, Puget Sound Oncology Consortium and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Education and Support for Patients and Families

Beyond physical health, the Swedish Cancer Institute is committed to the emotional well-being of our patients and their families. We offer:

Complementary therapies include:

See Patient Support and Resources and Services for the Body, Mind and Spirit at Swedish.

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Radiation Therapy

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Chemotherapy, Biological Therapy, & Stem Cell Transplant

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