Esophageal Cancer Radiation Therapy, Treatment & Side Effects
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Radiation Therapy for Esophageal Cancer
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to eliminate cancer cells. This type of treatment is a preferred option for people with Stage III esophageal cancer. It is often performed in conjunction with chemotherapy. If radiation therapy is successful in down-staging esophageal cancer, surgery may be performed.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we use advanced radiation therapies when surgery isn’t a treatment option. Your radiation oncologist may use radiation therapy to shrink the cancer to make it easier to remove. Radiation therapy can also be given after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that may be left over from primary esophageal cancer treatment.
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America, we offer two primary types of radiation therapy to treat esophageal cancer:
- External Beam Radiation Therapy (EBRT): This method uses radiation from the outside of the body to treat or reduce esophageal cancer.
- High-Dose Rate (HDR) Brachytherapy (internal therapy) : This method uses radiation internally by placing radioactive pellets right near or on the cancer.
Before, during and after your esophageal cancer treatment, we take a proactive approach to preventing and managing any radiation therapy side effects, such as difficulty swallowing. A stent will often be placed in the esophagus before radiation therapy begins. A temporary feeding tube may also be necessary, so you continue to receive proper nutrients. Your care team will develop an individualized plan to treat all of you, not just the disease.