How is esophageal cancer treated?
Doctors need to consider a few factors before deciding on any treatment for esophageal cancer. These factors include the type of cells in the cancer and your age, overall health and personal preferences. The treatments include
- Surgery (removal of the tumor or cutting of the unhealthy esophagus with or without the upper part of the stomach)
- Chemotherapy (anticancer drugs to shrink the tumor)
- Radiation therapy (focusing high-energy beams on the tumor to destroy the cancer cells)
- Targeted therapy (using medications that target the processes responsible for cancer)
- Immunotherapy (using medications that use your immune system to fight cancer)
How can you prevent esophageal cancer?
Some risk factors of esophageal cancer cannot be modified, such as your age, gender and hereditary link. You can, however, take a few steps to prevent other factors from increasing your chances of developing this cancer. These include
- Quit tobacco consumption: If you are not sure about how you will cope with quitting smoking and other forms of tobacco intake, talk to your doctor. Medications and counseling sessions can help you kick off the habit.
- Cut back on alcohol: Restrict alcohol intake to two drinks a day for men and one drink a day for women.
- High intake of fruits and vegetables: A diet high in fruits and vegetables seems to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer.
- Keep your weight under check: Consume healthy foods and be physically active to maintain a healthy weight. If you want to shed off those extra pounds, try to aim for only 1 to 2 pounds per week.