Esophageal cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer death worldwide. Patients generally present with progressive dysphagia, malnutrition, and weight loss. The diagnosis commonly involves radiologic studies and conventional esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Advances in endoscopic evaluation have allowed early detection of premalignant and malignant lesions. These techniques include chromoscopy, which can be performed in conjunction with high-resolution/magnification endoscopy, and fluorescent endoscopy. Such techniques as endoscopic ultrasound with dedicated echoendoscopes or high-frequency probes, positron emission tomography, optical coherence tomography, endoscopic magnetic resonance imaging, and tactile sensing may complement conventional imaging by CT to enhance staging accuracy. Because the majority of patients present with incurable disease at the time of diagnosis, nonsurgical approaches to their management have evolved. These include endoscopic mucosal resection, stenting, tumor ablation, and palliative chemoradiotherapy. The ablative techniques include argon plasma coagulator therapy, laser, and photodynamic therapy. For patients with early malignancies of the esophagus who are not surgical candidates, such techniques may be used with curative intent.
ASJC Scopus subject areas