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In patients who have esophageal cancer that is potentially removable by surgery, does the use of chemotherapy before surgery result in improved survival?
Debulking cancer or shrinking a tumor with chemo before surgically removing a tumor can be very effective at slowing the growth of that cancer. However, toxicity causes side effects. There is no way around it. Yes, chemotherapy may be a necessary evil, but understand that chemo causes side effects.
The study linked below is attempting to answer a difficult question for Esophageal Cancer patients with a tumor that can be removed surgically but with cancer that has probably spread. Cancer that has spread beyond the original tumor will show up again someday.
The article below is giving the patient a choice. Choice one is to not undergo chemotherapy. No side effects, none. Choice two is to undergo chemotherapy, kill much of the EC that has spread throughout the body beyond the original tumor, but endure the side effects of the chemo.
Will this EC patient live longer and will the side effects make it worth it to live longer?
Let me add several therapies. I am a cancer survivor and cancer coach. My experience and research have taught me that cancer patients must think beyond conventional oncology.
Have you been diagnosed with EC? If so, what stage? What is your therapy plan? Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment.
“Question-In patients, who have cancer of the esophagus that is potentially removable by surgery, does the use of chemotherapy before surgery result in improved survival?
Background-Cancer of the esophagus often is not discovered until it is at quite an advanced stage. This means that even removing the tumor through surgery is not very successful, and many people die within five years. Chemotherapy (cancer-fighting drugs such as cisplatin) has been used before surgery to try to shrink the tumor, making it easier to operate on and stopping it from spreading. Therefore, chemotherapy may help people to live longer.
Key results-This review of 13 trials, including patients with esophageal cancer of any cell type, found some evidence that cisplatin-based chemotherapy may help them to live longer. However, chemotherapy may introduce side effects.
Quality of the evidence-This review used information from randomized studies that is considered to represent the highest quality of evidence.”