How is esophageal cancer staged?

Clinical practice guidelines include evidence-based recommendations for the use of computed tomography, positron emission tomography (PET), endoscopic ultrasound, endoscopic mucosal resection and staging laparoscopy to assist with staging esophageal cancer.

Says Thomas K. Varghese Jr., MD, MS, from the University of Washington in Seattle, “Diagnosis and staging are critical steps in the decision-making process for selection of optimal therapy."

Dr. Jill K. Onesti, MD
Surgical Oncologist

Esophageal cancer is staged based on how deep the tumor cells go into the esophagus, if it spreads to any surrounding lymph nodes or if it spreads to distant lymph nodes or other organs. Imaging studies may include an EGD), where a camera goes into your mouth and looks at the esophagus, stomach and first part of the duodenum; an (EUS), which is similar to an EGD but uses an ultrasound to measure how deep the cancer cells go; a computerized (or computed) tomography (CT) scan of your chest, abdomen and pelvis; and a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, which specifically looks for any spread to other organs.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.