Stomach and Esophagus Cancer Treatment Options
Multimodality treatment (surgery, chemotherapy and radiation) is often used to treat patients with esophageal and gastric (stomach) cancer. Sequencing of treatment is determined by the stage, size and location of the tumor. If the tumor cannot be removed, we may employ laser techniques or stenting, inserting a metal tube to hold the area open, in order to relieve areas of obstruction that can cause pain and disability.
Communication is key. We talk to you about what you’re facing because we believe that treating the whole person, not just the disease, is the best approach for patients and family members.
Before we set up a specific treatment protocol for your diagnosis of stomach cancer, we will take the following into account:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent or stage of the disease
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Radiation Therapy for Stomach Cancer Treatment
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays or particles to kill cancer cells. There are several ways to deliver radiation therapy.
External radiation, also known as external beam therapy, sends high levels of radiation directly to the cancer cells. Since radiation is used to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors, special shields may be used to protect the tissue surrounding the treatment area. External radiation may be used after surgery to try to kill any remaining cancer cells or for more advanced stomach cancer to ease symptoms such as pain.
Blockage IMRT is a type of 3-D radiation therapy that targets tumors with greater precision than conventional radiation therapy. Using highly sophisticated computer software and 3-D images from CT scans, the radiation oncologist can develop an individualized treatment plan that delivers high doses of radiation to cancerous tissue while sparing surrounding organs and reducing the risk of injury to healthy tissues.