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Oesophageal cancer affects the oesophagus, which is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. Oesophageal cancer occurs when the genetic material of cells in the oesophagus become damaged or changed, producing mutations that affect normal cell growth and division. The abnormal cells then replicate, causing cancer. If undetected, the cancer can spread beyond the oesophagus and move to other parts of the body.
Oesophageal cancer is the ninth most common type of cancer in the UK, with more than 8,500 new cases diagnosed each year. This disease most commonly affects people over the age of 60 and is more common in men than in women.
The precise causes of oesophageal cancer are unknown, although there are several identified risk factors.
The symptoms of oesophageal cancer usually include:
If any of these symptoms apply to you, or if you have any concerns about similar symptoms, it is essential that you see your doctor at once, as your chances of recovery are much higher if your cancer is diagnosed early. Alternatively you can book an appointment with one of our specialists by completing this form online or by calling 020 8247 3351.
If you are referred to CCL for diagnosis, your consultant or oncologist will advise you on tests relevant to your symptoms. As oesophageal cancer doesn’t usually display symptoms until the disease has begun to spread, it is vital that the diagnosis is swift and accurate. Tests for oesophageal cancer include:
At CCL, patients with oesophageal cancer are treated by a specialist multidisciplinary team. This team works together to create a treatment plan to suit the individual needs of the patient. Options for treating oesophageal cancer vary from case to case, based on the general health of the patient and the stage of the cancer. Treatment could include:
At CCL we provide support that caters to both the physical and emotional needs of the patient, before, during and after treatment.
We offer a wide range of services for patients, as well as their loved ones, designed to make a very difficult time as easy as possible, and to give our patients the best treatment and support possible. Our support services include counselling, group sessions and much more. Dietitians are also available to help with any swallowing problems and to help maintain body weight.
You can find the full range of our support services here. We’ll be with you every step of the way.