Treatment for Oesopahgael Cancer

Oesophageal Cancer, symptoms, causes and treatment alternatives 2

Chris WoollamsThis article has been compiled by  Chris Woollams from worldwide research and expert sources*


Cancers are very individual, and so is the treatment programme. It may depend upon the location of the tumour, its spread and your health amongst other factors.

SurgerySurgery: Cuts may be made in the abdomen, chest and/or neck. It is important to be clear just how much tissue is to be removed and what the implications are afterwards, for example for swallowing and eating. Quite frequently the upper part of the stomach may be removed too, plus the adjacent lymph nodes. Surgery cannot always be used due to size and location of the tumour or to your personal health. Sometimes the tumour grows around nerves, which can be both painful and surgery limiting. However it is the most common treatment for this cancer. A list of questions to use as a basic guide is contained in ’Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’.

Three forms of surgery are used:

An oesophagectomy: for early stage cancers - where the affected parts and the nearby lymph nodes are removed, and the remaining oesophagus is reconnected to the stomach so you can still swallow.

An oesophagogastrectomy: where there is a need to remove part of the stomach too, along with nearby lymph nodes. The remaining oesophagus is reattached to the remaining stomach so food can continue to pass from the throat to the stomach. Sometimes a piece of your own colon is used to connect the oesophagus to the stomach.

Laser Surgery: is used in the USA to attack blockages. Using a version of the Endoscope along with a laser beam, portions of a tumour causing a blockage can be removed, avoiding the need for external cuts.

2 Radiotherapy: This may be external radiotherapy, where treatment is given every weekday for between 3 and 6 weeks. You should read our articles on Radiotherapy  especially a quick guide on how to maximize the effectiveness.
Sometime internal radiotherapy is used where radioactive materials (put in place by an endoscope or a similar tube) rest in the tumour area. The side effects are the usual ones for radiotherapy including nausea, lowered blood cell count, and possible hair loss. Radiotherapy is usually used where the surgeon is uncertain that he cleared away all the cancer cells.

3 Chemotherapy: This may be used before surgery to reduce the size of the tumour and make it more manageable.


More usually it is given after surgery
a) To kill off all remaining cancer cells to try to prevent return of the cancer
b) To treat any spread of the cancer to other tissues

Capecitabine, cisplatin and fluorouracil are the most favoured drugs and often used in combination. However, according to the Lancet Oncology Vol 7, July 2006, in a randomised trial with 1002 patients, results showed that capecitabine could replace fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin could replace cisplatin. In the US Sloan Kettering is studying paclitaxel, in particular, which is showing promising results when used alone or in combination with cisplatin. Some tumours already show signs of developing resistance to paclitaxel.

For information on your Cancer Drugs and chemotherapy click here. You can also look into a diet to maximize the chemotherapy  on this web site. However you must ask your doctor and a Nutritionist specifically about Diet as some conditions and treatments demand a liquid only diet.

Click here and read our article "What is Cancer"

Other treatments, therapies and tips.

Where the cancer is in an advanced state, and/or after treatments you may have side effects, pain, difficulty in swallowing, nausea and fatigue. You must ask for help. The Doctors will have drugs for most if not all of these conditions.

PDTPhotodynamic Therapy: was originally used mostly for palliative care reducing the symptoms of both the orthodox treatments and the cancer in later stages. It then moved on to being used with Barrett’s and to shrink some blockages. Now several US centers are looking at its use as a basic treatment. It has few side effects and originally involved a chemical agent, which finds its way to the cancer. Then light of a certain frequency is shone on that agent to produce an oxygen free-radical which kills the cancer cell. For many years this treatment was hampered by the need for the tumour to be ’near the body surface’ in order to deliver the light. Recently there have been huge advances in the agents (many are now natural), lasers and delivery mechanisms, making the treatment increasingly effective for many cancers. We have several articles on PDT

Treatment for anaemia: Managing and counteracting anaemia can reduce death from anaemia by 50 per cent. Research published by the Cochrane Collaboration showed that epoetins (alfa and beta epoetin) show significant survival benefits. Particularly striking were the results for patients with solid tumours (Breast, lung, colon, ovarian) where risk of death decreased by 51 per cent) In a second study (European Soc. For Medical Oncology- 31st Oct 2005) epotin beta was shown to reduce risk of tumour progression in patients with anaemia 

Treatment for fatigue: icon has run several pieces on fatigue. A qualified naturopath will be able to suggest dietary changes to boost energy levels. Qualified homeopaths may be able to suggest ways to counter fatigue. Energy therapists ( eg. acupuncture, cranial osteopaths, Reiki Masters) may well be able to help. Italian research showed a lack of acetyl-carnitine   which supplementation could correct. UCLA scientist report that a series of genetic markers become blocked either due to the cancer or due to the chemotherapy treatment. The California team note promising results with Etanercept. Apparently 30 per cent of women who have had chemo for breast cancer have long-term fatigue, even after the cancer has ’gone’. This may well be true for other cancers.
The British Journal of Cancer 2006; 94 1568-71 reports on research from the Glasgow Royal infirmary. Apparently patients with higher levels of CRP protein pre-surgery have poorer survival outcomes. Donald Macmillan says it is indicative of higher levels of inflammation and an impaired T-lymphocyte response. The research implies that patients with high CRP levels should not undergo surgery.

NB: Although we always try to write in easy-to-understand words, you may find that some web sites, information leaflets, Doctors and Nurses use words that are not as easy to understand. For that reason we have compiled a list of all the ’technical’ words they commonly use called DOCTORSPEAK, the list turns it all into simple, easy to understand English. You can find this list of words by clicking here.

Memorial Sloan Kettering is working on a new class of drugs that offer another promising avenue of investigation: Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors (such as SU5416 and OSI-774) are drugs involving small biologic molecules that directly attack tumour cells at the molecular level.
You might decide that drugs and chemotherapy are not for you. You might want to look into Diet therapies  on this site you will find all the details about the famousGerson Therapy, or Dr Gonzalez in New York, who has clinical trials to support his diet and supplement therapy.
You might simply want to look at diet to support your orthodox treatments  we have that too. We Treeoflife even have a book, ’The Tree of life the anti-cancer Diet’ which gives you lots of information, even a shopping trolley of foods to buy! We even have articles on which herbs  are known to make a difference.
You might want to look for the best supplements to take not merely antioxidants but proven cancer fighters like vitamin DFish oilstotal vitamin Ecurcumin and probiotics   all of which just could make a difference. And buying them is easy. We’ve done all the hard work for you. Our Products of choice is a list of the products we have tested ourselves: the best of the best. So you can buy with confidence.
You may want to look at how daily light exercise can help (some research says it cuts mortality by up to 50 per cent). Then there are clinical trials on meditation. You can access our ’kiddies guide’  to everything from massage to yoga.
Then there are energy therapies like acupuncture. People with cancer always have an imbalance in their body energy. It is relatively easy to fix and get it working for you again.
Finally you might want to try Hands on Healing, or even pay a visit to John of God. He’s free you just have to get to Brazil. He doesn’t cure people, ’God does’. We do know people who went who were very impressed.
On this web site you will find more information about more treatment options (Complementary and Alternative, not just Orthodox), and on more ’possible contributory factors’ to the development and maintenance of your cancer, than on any other UK cancer web site. Some experts believe that approaching your cancer in this ’total’ way can increase an individual’s chances of survival by as much as 60 per cent.
This is all supported by the very latest research evidence from all over the world in our news section Cancer Watch.
We can do this because we are not hide-bound by vested interests, and so we can always put people first. We are not influenced by companies who seek to make financial gains from patients, we have no trustees working for, or sponsored directly or indirectly by such companies, our directors take no remuneration at all. This is our true independence, from which you benefit directly.

But this independence comes at a price: We can only rely on you, and people like you, to support our work. 47,703 people visited our site in March 2007, viewing 11 pages on average. Every month we add 20 new pages to this site. The letters and e-mails of gratitude and praise tell us we really do make a difference.

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Putting together a treatment plan

Fret not there is so much you can do mostly to help yourself. When my daughter developed her brain tumour and was given just 6 months to live we found out so many things that could help but it took at least 6 months hard work and a pair of science degrees. The aim of this site is to short circuit all this for you and to empower you to pass on all our knowledge, our research findings, the expert studies and the possible causes so that others can benefit immediately. This is also why, when the EYNTK doctors asked me, I gladly wrote ’Everything you need to know to help you beat cancer’. The book has been a best seller in the UK for three years and you cannot even buy it in a shop only direct from the charity via Natural Selection’s shop - click on the tab at the top of the page!!
Now, let’s first try to understand what is going on, and what factors might be maintaing this cancer, helping it progress in your body.



 *Cancer (and its related illnesses) are very serious and very individual diseases.  Readers must always consult directly with experts and specialists in the appropriate medical field before taking, or refraining from taking, any specific action.
This web site is intended to provide research-based information on cancer and its possible causes and therapies, so that you can make more informed decisions in consultation with those experts. Although our information comes from expert sources, and is most usually provided by Professors, scientists and Doctors, our easy-to-understand, jargon-free approach necessitates that journalists, not doctors, write the copy. For this reason, whilst the authors, management and staff of CANCERactive,
icon, and Health Issues have made every effort to ensure its accuracy, we assume no responsibility for any error, any omission or any consequences of an error or omission. Readers must consult directly with their personal specialists and advisors, and we cannot be held responsible for any action, or inaction, taken by readers as a result of information contained on this web site, or in any of our publications.  Any action taken or refrained from by a reader is taken entirely at the reader’s own instigation and, thus, own risk.

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Oesophageal Cancer, symptoms, causes and treatment alternatives 2
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