Esophageal Cancer Survival Rate

The growth of cancer cells in the esophagus is known as esophageal cancer. It is not as common in the United States as compared to certain regions of Africa and Asia

Symptoms of esophageal cancer

  • Excessive weariness
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Pain, pressure or burning sensations in the chest
  • Inexplicable loss of weight
  • Heartburn or indigestion
  • Frequent cases of choking at the time of eating
  • Coughing
  • Increased hoarseness

Causes of esophageal cancer

  • Mutations of the DNA in the cells of the esophagus lead to the development of abnormal cells which causes esophageal cancer. The exact cause of such mutations is not known.
  • It is believed that chronic irritation of the esophagus increases the risk to developing esophageal cancer.
  • Factors that increase the risk to esophageal irritation and cancer include being obese; intake of foods preserved in lye; diminished intake of vegetables and fruits; excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco; presence of GERD or bile reflux; being in the age group 45 to 70; intake of extremely hot liquids and radiation therapy treatment of the upper abdomen or chest.

Treatment for  esophageal cancer

  • Surgery to remove the tumors or to remove parts of the affected esophagus
  • Radiation therapy that directs extreme rays of radiation at the cancer cells to destroy them
  • Chemotherapy that involves intravenous administration of special drugs that have been designed to kill and destroy the cancer cells

Esophageal Cancer Survival Rate

The survival rate for esophageal cancer indicates the percentage of patients that have survived for a particular number of years after diagnosis. Hence, some individuals who have been affected by esophageal cancer would like to know the survival rates in order to choose the best treatment plan. Others may want to avoid the psychological problems that accompany the certainty of death, and hence do not wish to be aware of the survival rates for esophageal cancer

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The five year survival rate for esophageal cancer refers to the percentage of patients who survive for at least five years after initial diagnosis of the condition. The five year relative survival rate is a comparison of the general population without the disease but who are of similar age, etc. to the five year survival rate of those afflicted by esophageal cancer. The five year relative survival rate is a better way to estimate the chances of surviving a particular stage and type of esophageal cancer.

The five year relative survival rate as per the stages is listed below:

Stage 5-Year Relative Survival Rate
Localized 37%
Regional 18%
Distant 3%


It is important to know that the survival rates for esophageal cancer cannot be generalized for all patients. This is because each individual case of the condition differs from the other and the individual survival rate is dependent on a number of factors such as the overall health of the patient, the age, etc. Hence, survival rates are only used to get a rough estimate about the chances of surviving esophageal cancer.


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