Because esophageal cancer is usually diagnosed in the later stages, it has often spread, making it difficult to treat. Esophageal cancer is relatively rare in the United States and few clinicians specialize in its treatment. It is important to choose a treatment center with an experienced team that has treated many patients with esophageal cancer.
The Center for Esophageal and Gastric Cancer at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC) brings together a team of experts who specialize in treating esophageal cancer. Our center sees more than 200 cases of esophageal cancer a year, and offers patients the most advanced treatments, including clinical trials. Some of these therapies are not available elsewhere and are developed by research scientists in our own laboratories.
Personalized treatment plans
We are a highly specialized center, and we focus on the distinct needs of people with esophageal cancer. This enables us to provide a very personalized approach to your care.
Our specialists work closely together and collaborate regularly to ensure that your care plan offers the best possible outcomes and that all your needs are met. Your health care team will take the time to listen, understand your needs and preferences, and help you gain a sense of control over your life. We offer the most effective therapies possible, while also helping you maintain your quality of life during treatment. We encourage you to be actively involved in the decision-making process.
Your team of specialists — medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, and nutritionists — works closely together from your initial diagnosis and throughout your entire treatment process, ensuring that your care is coordinated. Because specialists from each discipline regularly discuss your case, we ensure that all feasible approaches to treatment are considered, and that you receive the combination of treatments that works best for you.
Clinical trials and genetic screening
Our specialists are actively involved in research, and apply the latest knowledge to patient care. Our many clinical trials are a significant part of our treatment approach, and many of our patients choose to participate. We also screen for known mutations for which targeted therapies may be applied.
Patients have special nutritional needs during treatment for esophageal cancer. Many people find it hard to eat because they have trouble swallowing due to a narrowing of the esophagus, caused by a tumor or a side effect of treatment. You will work closely with anutritionist who will help you with these challenges.
To address all of your physical and emotional needs, we provide a comprehensive range of support services and complementary and integrative therapies. We offer individual and family counseling, rehabilitation and physical therapy, pain and symptom management, acupuncture, massage, Reiki and support groups.
If you have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer by another doctor, and would like a second opinion or to talk with us about your care plan, please contact us.
We regularly consult with patients at all stages of esophageal cancer. We perform surgery on patients with esophageal cancer from around the world, who then return to their local hospitals for further treatment.
Our expertise can be invaluable when deciding what kind of treatment to pursue.
Some reasons to consider a second opinion include:
- To confirm your diagnosis
- To learn more about your esophageal cancer from a knowledgeable specialist who has treated other patients just like you
- To better understand your options for treatment
- To learn if you are eligible for a clinical trial