Esophageal Cancer in the Elderly

  • Richard F. Heitmiller
  • Arlene A. Forastiere


Esophageal cancers are aggressive tumors that tend to present in an advanced stage and that historically have been associated with poor survival despite therapy. There are two reasons a chapter on esophageal cancer is pertinent in this text on geriatric surgery. The first is that esophageal cancer is primarily a disease of the elderly Thomas and Sobin,1 reporting the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data from the National Cancer Institute, demonstrated that the peak incidence for presentation of esophageal cancer occurred in patients over age 65 regardless of histologic cell type or gender (Fig. 38.1). The second reason is that esophageal cancer most frequently presents with dysphagia, weight loss, and fatigue, all of which threaten an elderly patient’s personal and financial independence. Despite the fact that historically the outlook has been bleak for many patients with esophageal tumors, advancements in the identification of prema-lignant pathology, diagnosis and staging of tumors, therapeutic options, treatment safety, and survival have introduced a note of optimism into the management of this disease.


Esophageal Cancer High Grade Dysplasia Squamous Cell Cancer Esophageal Tumor Transhiatal Esophagectomy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard F. Heitmiller
  • Arlene A. Forastiere

There are no affiliations available

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