Esophageal Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment

Persistent symptoms that indicate esophageal cancer should not be ignored and should be brought to a physician’s attention immediately. Multiple tests are recommended to diagnose and stage the disease accurately. Once the disease is staged, the expert team employs a multidisciplinary approach to thoroughly study the case, understand the individual patient parameters, and devise a personalized care plan.

Esophageal Cancer Diagnosis Tests

The doctor will initially perform a physical examination and medical history assessment to understand the cause of the symptoms and see if the patient has a family history of esophageal cancer or has underlying medical conditions. Doctors will recommend additional tests if the observations from the physical examination hint at the possibility of esophageal cancer. The following are the different tests recommended for esophageal cancer diagnosis:

Esophageal Cancer Treatments

Once the esophageal cancer diagnosis is confirmed and staging is done, an individualized treatment plan is devised based on several parameters, such as the type of esophageal cancer, its stage, its grade, the exact location of the tumor, the patient’s age, the patient’s overall health status, and lastly, their preferences. Surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy are the different treatment options available for esophageal cancer

Why Choose HCG for Esophageal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment?

As one of the best cancer hospitals in India, HCG is equipped with all major diagnostic and treatment facilities for the effective management of esophageal cancer. Our experts are globally trained and have vast experience in managing simple to complex esophageal cancer cases successfully through a patient-centric and personalized approach. This approach will not only help us improve the survival rates of our patients but also their quality of life.


Esophageal cancer is best treated when it is diagnosed early. Early diagnosis also has a significant impact on success rates. Different tests recommended for esophageal cancer diagnosis include endoscopy, ultrasound, biopsy, and imaging tests. Upon arriving at a confirmed diagnosis and staging the disease, doctors may recommend surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, laser therapy, targeted therapy, etc., as a part of esophageal cancer treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

After esophageal cancer treatment, it is normal for the patient’s eating abilities to be affected, depending on the stage of the disease.

Regaining eating abilities after treatment is a gradual process. Doctors will initially recommend soft or pureed foods and slowly progress to a regular diet upon observing the patient’s tolerance.

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in recovery after esophageal cancer treatment. Therefore, patients must talk to their nutritionist for a personalized diet plan.

Early diagnosis is crucial for the effective management of esophageal cancer. Some of the measures that may help in the early detection of esophageal cancer include:

Being mindful of symptoms: It is important to be aware of different signs and symptoms of esophagus cancer and promptly see a doctor whenever necessary.

Being mindful of the different risk factors associated with esophageal cancer: Conditions like chronic acid reflux, Barrett's esophagus, etc., increase the risk of esophageal cancer. Therefore, those with these conditions should talk to their doctor for appropriate screening guidance.

Opting for regular screening: Those having a higher chance of developing esophageal cancer should talk to their doctor about regular esophageal cancer screening.

The success rate of immunotherapy for esophageal cancer may depend on numerous factors. In recent times, pembrolizumab, a checkpoint inhibitor administered as a part of immunotherapy, has shown promising results in certain esophageal cancer patients. However, the success rates may vary depending on the stage of esophageal cancer, the specific molecular characteristics of cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s overall health.

The number of radiotherapy sessions required for esophageal cancer management may vary from one patient to another. It depends on various factors, such as the type of esophageal cancer, its stage, the patient’s age, their overall health status, and their body's response to other treatments administered.

Blood tests are not usually recommended for esophageal cancer diagnosis. Commonly recommended blood tests for esophageal cancer include a complete blood count (CBC) and liver panel to measure the different types of blood cells and liver functions, respectively, in esophageal cancer patients.

Certain biomarkers, such as carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and CA 19-9, are elevated in esophageal cancer patients. However, the levels of these biomarkers are high in other health conditions, too, which makes blood tests less reliable. Therefore, other tests like endoscopy, biopsy, and imaging tests are recommended for a definitive diagnosis.

The health outcomes or success rates of chemotherapy for esophageal adenocarcinoma depend on various individual factors, such as the stage of the disease, the patient’s age, their overall health condition, etc. In most cases, esophageal cancer patients show a good response to chemotherapy.