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Esophageal Cancer

Risk Factors, Screening and Diagnosis | Personalized Treatment | Research and Clinical Trials | Additional Patient Support

The experienced, collaborative team of specialists at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center combines the most advanced scientific knowledge and technology with a comprehensive and compassionate approach to care, creating a program of personalized medicine and patient-centered care for each individual diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

Drawing from the diverse experience of physicians, surgeons, nurses, researchers and a host of other highly trained healthcare professionals, the Kellogg Cancer Center team works collaboratively and is dedicated to putting patients—and families—at the center of a healthcare experience that delivers compassionate, quality care.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with esophageal cancer have the added support of a specialized oncology nurse navigator to guide them through their diagnosis and treatment.

Esophageal Cancer Risk Factors, Screening and Diagnosis

The rise of obesity as a health issue in the United States has contributed to increasing cases of esophageal cancer, which forms in tissues lining the esophagus—the muscular tube through which food passes from the back of the throat to the stomach. Other identifiable risk factors include Barrett's Esophagus and acid reflux disease. Kellogg Cancer Center’s emphasis on early detection allows our expert team of specialists to diagnose a greater proportion of early stage esophageal cancer cases, which are more likely to be treated with minimally invasive techniques leading to improved outcomes.

As a regional center for individuals needing advanced endoscopic procedures, NorthShore’s Advanced Therapeutic Endoscopy Program, brings additional specialized expertise to our patients with esophageal cancer. This sophisticated technology is becoming more important in helping to diagnose, precisely stage and treat benign and malignant gastrointestinal tumors.

Personalized Esophageal Cancer Treatment

Every week, your multidisciplinary team meets in a multidisciplinary conference to discuss each patient’s case in detail and to design a personalized treatment plan. For esophageal cancer your team may include your medical oncologistsurgeon, endoscopists, gastroenterologist, radiation oncologistoncology nurse, geneticist, pathologist, nutritionist, pharmacist, interventional radiologist, social worker and researchers, all focused on you. For esophageal cancer treatment, Kellogg patients have as part of their care team highly trained endoscopists who are board-certified gastroenterologists with special training in using sophisticated technology to diagnose and determine the stage and severity of the esophageal cancer.

This "meeting of the minds" provides critical input, resulting in an individualized care plan outlining the best course of action for each patient. Multimodal strategies combining chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery are often used to ensure optimal outcomes for patients with esophageal cancer.

In addition, our cancer care team includes specially-trained surgeons, who perform the minimally-invasive esophagectomy procedure, which removes a portion of a patient’s esophagus to treat advanced stage esophageal cancers.

Patients are at the center of this multidisciplinary team, and Kellogg staff arrange for them to be seen by their multidisciplinary team at one appointment, not only for their convenience but to provide a consensus on their course of treatment. Our use of one of the most advanced Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems in the country enhances our open communication and promotes collaboration in patient care.

Research and Clinical Trials

A vital research enterprise allows Kellogg patients access to the latest drugs and treatment options, as well as a wide array of clinical trials, both at NorthShore and through the University of Chicago, where more than 800 of our attending physicians hold academic appointments. NorthShore's team of esophageal cancer experts are active participants and leaders in regional and national research, academic and advocacy organizations.

NorthShore’s nationally recognized Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system offers a data warehouse and tumor bank that enables physicians and researchers to integrate molecular and genomics data with clinical data to determine a patient’s best course of treatment. This information—specific to each patient—helps create an individually tailored treatment plan based on the patient’s genetic makeup and type of cancer. This analysis, through our Center for Biomedical Research Informatics, is yielding new insights into complex diseases and identifying opportunities to improve patient outcomes,  as well as addressing the risk factors in individual and family medical histories.

NorthShore is the first in the nation to provide our patients and their family members with Health Heritage, a secure tool that helps individuals create a complete family health history and personalized risk reports.

Additional Patient Support

Kellogg Cancer Center’s unique services and resources assist patients and family members with a variety of challenges they may face from diagnosis, treatment and beyond. A wide array of support services are available to patients that include our integrative medicine services, financial advocacy and survivorship, to name a few.

The Kellogg Cancer Center also offers a comprehensive smoking cessation program for patients and their families.

For More Information

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, please call 847.570.2112.