Journal Mobile

M Evans, T Crosby
Journal Issue: 
Volume 38: Issue 3: 2008




The incidence of oesophageal cancer continues to increase worldwide, particularly  adenocarcinoma  of  the  distal  oesophagus  and  gastro-oesophageal junction.  Unfortunately,  overall  survival  rates  remain  disappointingly  low,  even  in those patients who are fit for radical (curative) treatment at presentation. Surgery, with or without preoperative chemotherapy, remains the treatment of choice in the UK for those patients of adequate performance status who have potentially resectable  disease.  An  alternative  approach  is  chemoradiotherapy,  which  is associated with similar long-term survival rates, at least in patients with squamous cell carcinoma. The survival of patients with advanced disease may be prolonged by palliative chemotherapy, and there are a number of treatment modalities that may  be  used  to  relieve  dysphagia;  their  use  often  reflects  local  availability  and expertise. This review summarises the recent trends in the incidence and aetiology of oesophageal cancer and provides an up-to-date overview of its management.