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Esophageal Cancer Expertise, Close to Home

Doctor talking to senior patientEsophageal cancer begins in the cells that line the esophagus, and can be associated with long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms. As with many cancers, esophageal cancer has a greater chance of being treated if the cancer is caught early. The key to surviving esophageal cancer is early detection.

Our board-certified medical oncologists will work with a multidisciplinary team, including gastroenterologists, radiation oncologists, surgical oncologists and other specialists, to ensure that you are receiving the most complete care possible.

To learn more about the care we offer for esophageal cancer, contact our Cancer Care team at 740-687-6900.

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Causes & Risks

Esophageal cancer has been linked to a variety of factors. One common cause is ongoing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When left untreated for an extended period, even minor reflux symptoms can cause damage to the esophagus lining resulting in a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which increases the chance of developing esophageal cancer. To learn more about GERD and Barrett’s esophagus symptoms and treatment, visit our Heartburn Center.

Additional risk factors of esophageal cancer include:

  •  Gender – Males have a higher chance of developing esophageal cancer.
  •  Age – Esophageal cancer is more common in those over 55.
  •  Alcohol or tobacco use – Using both makes the chance of developing esophageal cancer even higher.
  •  Obesity – Being overweight increases the chance of having reflux, which contributes to the risk of esophageal cancer.
  •  Personal history – If you have previously been diagnosed with other types of cancer – especially lung, mouth or throat cancer – you are at higher risk of esophageal cancer.
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Esophageal cancer may not cause any symptoms until it has advanced. In its early stages, signs of the disease may be attributable to GERD or Barrett’s esophagus. This is one of the reasons why timely treatment of reflux symptoms is important. Additional symptoms of esophageal cancer may include:

  •  Feeling like food is stuck in throat or having trouble swallowing
  •  Pressure or burning in the middle of the chest
  •  Unintended weight loss – can be due to difficulty swallowing or decreased appetite
  •  Hoarseness or chronic cough
  •  Bone pain
  •  Blood in vomit or stool

One of the most effective ways to prevent esophageal cancer is catching it early and seeking timely treatment for reflux or Barrett’s esophagus. To learn more about symptoms and treatments, visit our Heartburn Center.

Doctor talking with senior patient.


Once your diagnosis has been confirmed, your healthcare provider will discuss your treatment options, which will be determined by the stage, size and location of your cancer, and your overall health and lifestyle. Your treatment may include local treatments, such as: surgery, radiation or endoscopic procedures, or systemic treatments, such as: chemotherapy, targeted therapy or immunotherapy.

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Fairfield Medical Center provides support programs, resources and care for our patients with cancer. These programs and resources can help you and your family address issues that you may face as a result of your cancer diagnosis or treatment.

Financial Support

There are a variety of financial resources available to those who qualify, including the Fairfield Medical Center Foundation and TWIGS One Cancer Care Fund. Members of your oncology team will work collaboratively with financial aid personnel to determine what individualized assistance is available to you.

We’re Here to Help You