GOSHEN, Ind. (WANE) – When facing a esophageal cancer diagnosis, there are two main types: squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. Doctors at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care say in the U.S., adenocarcinoma is more popular, and they’re using advanced surgical techniques to treat it.
Making the trip to a fast food restaurant too often can lead to an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Doctors at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care say obesity is one of the contributing factors for this particular type of cancer.
“These patients have more reflux. Even if they don’t have symptoms, and don’t realize it, they might still have it. That can lead to changes in the esophagus, which we call Barrett’s esophagus, that means the lining of the normal esophagus is replaced with a different kind of lining. And that can lead to changes, and over time that can lead to esophageal cancer,” says Dr. Urs von Holzen, with the Goshen Center for Cancer Care.
Dr. von Holzen says ways to prevent esophageal cancer is, of course, maintaining a proper diet, and refraining from smoking.
If a patient does get diagnosed with esophageal cancer, the multi-disciplinary team at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care is ready to get a patient on the right track for treatment.
“We have to have radiation oncology; you need to have medical oncology. And very, most important you have to have a surgical oncology department that knows how to these operations,” says Dr. von Holzen.
Those operations include advanced surgical techniques that lead to less recovery time for a patient.
“In esophageal cancer especially, we can avoid thoracotomy, a big incision that opens up the chest to mobilize. Usually we make three or four small incisions, that’s all we need in the chest. These patients, they recover much, much faster than most the big operations that we used to do, and most places still routinely do.”
Before any surgery is decided, the teams at the Goshen Center for Cancer Care meet together to decide on a cancer care plan, which makes the communications between doctors a very short line.