Esophageal cancer is cancer of the esophagus, which is the tube-like structure that runs from the throat to the stomach and carries food. Esophageal cancer starts at the inner layer of the esophagus and can spread throughout the other layers of the esophagus and to other parts of the body. Esophageal cancer may cause difficulty or pain when swallowing, weight loss, pain in the chest behind the breastbone, hoarseness, coughing, indigestion, and heartburn. It is more likely to develop in those who smoke, drink heavily, or have acid reflux.
Patients who choose UAB Medicine for their gastrointestinal cancer care will benefit from a pacesetting team of specialists, state-of-the-art technology, and some treatments not available at other medical centers. We have an outstanding team of surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists and gastroenterologists, and by coming to the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, you may be eligible for cutting-edge medications and treatments through a clinical trial. We employ a unique multidisciplinary approach to identifying and treating both pre-cancerous lesions of the pancreas and individuals who are at a higher risk of pancreatic cancer, in the hope of avoiding the development of cancers in the future.
A GI cancer diagnosis can produce a high level of stress for patients, so we provide a nurse navigator to help organize your visit. The program streamlines your introduction to UAB Medicine by arranging for your medical records, setting your appointments, and guiding you throughout the process. This allows your treatment team to deliver more efficient care.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for esophageal cancer. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials