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Esophageal Cancer

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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 and gastrointestinal care 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.

Types of Esophageal Cancer We Treat

 We treat all types and stages of esophageal cancer. The most common type of the disease is adenocarcinoma, which develops in cells 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 Treatment for Esophageal Cancer

Rely on your care team to develop a personalized care plan for your stage of cancer, treatment goals and personal preferences. Your care plan may include one or more of the following:

  • Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy, which stimulates the immune system to treat cancer
  • Radiation therapy, which uses energy beams to kill cancer cells
  • Surgery to remove all cancerous tissue

Minimally Invasive Surgery 

Expect the best outcome from UC San Diego Health because our esophageal cancer doctors are leaders in the minimally invasive procedure known as RATE (robot-assisted transhiatal esophagectomy). That means you’re likely to experience less pain and a faster recovery than after an open surgical approach.

Clinical Trials

In addition to standard approaches, you may qualify for a clinical trial, which can give you early access to the most promising new therapies and advanced technologies. UC San Diego Health is a national leader in developing clinical trials. 

Get a Second Opinion

Turn to UC San Diego Health for second opinion services for peace of mind and a complete evaluation of your health. A second opinion can be worthwhile at any point in your cancer journey since it can provide other information and reveal more treatment possibilities.

Patient and Family Support 

At UC San Diego Health, we consider your physical, social, emotional and spiritual health throughout your cancer journey. Take advantage of our patient and family support services.

Appointments & Referrals


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