Radiation and chemotherapy in the treatment of esophageal cancer.
Patients with esophageal cancer present with a cancer that is locally aggressive in a critical area and that readily metastasizes. Neither surgery nor radiotherapy alone can control local disease, and chemotherapy alone cannot control local or disseminated disease. Combined modalities yield better results. Surgery or radiotherapy is the standard primary treatment. Chemotherapy may help to control local disease and microscopic metastatic disease. Prospective randomized trials indicate that chemotherapy added to surgery and radiotherapy and chemotherapy added to radiotherapy prolong survival.
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