Background: Symptomatic esophageal cancer presents at an advanced stage. The one-year survival of patients presenting with dysphagia is 30%. There is no curative therapy for advanced esophageal cancer. Laser therapy has been shown to be a safe and successful therapeutic modality to improve dysphagia and quality of life in these patients. However, the cost of laser therapy in comparison with other therapeutic methods has not been evaluated. Aim: To evaluate the average cost of successful laser therapy in patients with advanced (stage III and IV) esophageal carcinoma. Methods: Medical records of 80 patients with advanced (stage III & IV) esophageal cancer who presented to the Mayo clinic between January 1994 and December 1996 were reviewed. Twenty eight patients had laser treatment with or without adjuvant chemo and/or radiation therapy. The mean number of treatments, duration of follow-up care, and mean actual cost per patient were calculated. N Mean age #of txs Follow-up dur. Av. cost (days) 28 65±10 yrs 2.54±2.0 38.5[1-772] $1,465 [732-5858] All patients had improvement of dysphagia at the end of the follow-up period and could tolerate regular meals. No patient had a complication related to laser therapy. By the end of the follow-up period, 7 patients (25%) had expired. Conclusions: Laser treatment is well tolerated and gives adequate symptom relief to patients with dysphagia due to advanced esophageal cancer. In our patient population, the average cost of laser therapy for 2-3 treatments, was $1465 [732-5858] per patient. We hope that this study will benchmark comparative cost analysis of palliative treatment for advanced esophageal cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging