It has long been known that esophageal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. Right now, due to lack of awareness, no standard or routine screenings and underfunded research, the outlook for esophageal cancer is grim.
While a diagnosis of esophageal cancer is daunting, especially when diagnosed in its later stages, the statistics that you will read below are not intended to predict individual outcomes and are only estimates. A number of factors play a big role in survival of all esophageal cancer diagnoses, from Stage I to Stage IV. These factors include but are not limited to treatment and the overall health of the patient.
The purpose of this post is to stress the importance of:
1. Early detection of esophageal cancer and
2. Research of treatment options aimed at curing advanced esophageal cancer.
“When esophageal cancer is found very early, there is a better chance of recovery. Esophageal cancer is often in an advanced stage when it is diagnosed. At later stages, esophageal cancer can be treated but rarely can be cured.” (National Cancer Institute)
“When esophageal cancer is found very early, there is a better chance of recovery.”
When patients are diagnosed with early stage esophageal cancer, the 5-year survival rate is 39.6%.
Unfortunately, only 21.3% of patients are diagnosed with esophageal cancer at the local stage. The term “local stage” means that the cancer is only growing in the esophagus.
If and when standard and routine guidelines are established for screening of esophageal cancer, it will help to increase the number of people who are diagnosed early and therefore improve the chances of survival.
“Esophageal cancer is often in an advanced stage when it is diagnosed.”
More than 67% of patients are diagnosed with regional or distant esophageal cancer. The 5-year survival rate of regional esophageal cancer is 21.1%. However, distant esophageal cancer, which is also referred to as Stage IV esophageal cancer, has a 5-year survival rate of less than 4%.
“At later stages, esophageal cancer can be treated but rarely can be cured.”
When esophageal cancer is diagnosed in late stages, it is difficult to completely rid the patient of cancer. Treatment options rarely include surgery. The main focus of treatment for advanced esophageal cancer is to control the cancer and to relieve any symptoms caused by the cancer. The latter is called palliative therapy. (American Cancer Society)
The Salgi Esophageal Cancer Research Foundation strives to provide people with information they need to be proactive about their potential risk and to seek the help of a doctor. We must work together to change the course of this deadly cancer.
For more information, please visit the sources below that were used in this post. Please remember to connect with us on Facebook to share this life-saving information.-Esophageal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®), National Cancer Institute, cancer.gov -SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Esophageal Cancer, Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, seer.cancer.gov -Survival rates for cancer of the esophagus by stage; Treating cancer of the esophagus by stage;Palliative therapy for cancer of the esophagus, American Cancer Society, cancer.org