Esophageal Cancer

Look to UC San Diego Health for exceptional esophageal cancer care.

You’ll find a full range of cancer care services, including advanced surgical treatments and support services.

Nationally Ranked Cancer Care

UC San Diego Health is ranked among the nation's best in both cancer care, and gastroenterology & GI surgery by U.S. News & World Report. We are also the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in San Diego County. This is the highest possible rating for a U.S. cancer center, and it means you’ll receive the best possible care and support. Studies show patient outcomes are better at NCI-designated cancer centers. Our thoracic cancer team also cares for more patients with esophageal and other thoracic cancers than any other San Diego health care system.

How Common is Esophageal Cancer?

Esophageal cancer impacts nearly 20,000 people in the United States each year. Most patients are in their 60s. Men are three times more likely than women to have esophageal cancer. The most common type of the disease is adenocarcinoma, which develops in the glands that line your esophagus.

Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer

Signs and symptoms of esophageal cancer may include: 

  • Chest pain, pressure or burning 
  • Coughing or hoarseness 
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) 
  • Extreme tiredness 
  • Indigestion or heartburn 
  • Unintentional weight loss 

Diagnosing Esophageal Cancer 

UC San Diego Health doctors provide an accurate diagnosis of esophageal cancer using advanced X-ray techniques and endoscopy. An endoscopy passes a thin, flexible tube with a miniature camera down your throat into your esophagus to look for signs of cancer. 

Personalized, Comprehensive Treatments for Esophageal Cancer

Rely on your care team to develop a personalized care plan for your stage of cancer, treatment goals and personal preferences. Access a full range of esophageal cancer treatments.

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Expect the highest quality of surgical care at UC San Diego Health. Our surgeons are leaders in the minimally invasive procedure known as RATE (robot-assisted transhiatal esophagectomy). With this surgical approach, you’re likely to experience less pain and a faster recovery than after an open esophagectomy (esophagus removal).

Gastrointestinal Cancer Care Team

At UC San Diego Health, your cancer care is led by a multidisciplinary team of doctors who specialize in your type of cancer. Highly specialized multidisciplinary care is a hallmark of top-tier academic medical centers such as UC San Diego Health. For patients like you, it means you receive the highest level of care. Find a gastrointestinal cancer specialist.

Second Opinion Services

When you have a diagnosis as serious as cancer, you deserve a second opinion on your treatment options.

How to Get a Second Opinion

Clinical Trials

Advancing Cancer Care and Prevention

UC San Diego Health physicians are actively researching ways to improve cancer care. By joining a clinical trial, you may receive a new cancer treatment before it is available to the public. If your cancer has not responded to standard therapies, talk to your doctor about whether a clinical trial could be right for you.

Patient & Family Support Services

At UC San Diego Health, your care goes beyond treating disease. It also includes supporting you and your loved ones emotionally throughout your cancer journey. Most of our support services are free.

Browse All Support Services