Two main types of cancer begin in the esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma
is cancer that forms in the cells that make up the inner lining of the
esophagus. Adenocarcinoma is cancer that forms in glandular cells.
Glandular cells are not normally found in the lining of the esophagus.
For adenocarcinoma to form, glandular cells must replace squamous cells.
This happens in Barrett's
At Lankenau Medical Center, a multidisciplinary team of specialists is
dedicated to prevention, early detection, and effective treatment of
esophageal cancer. Our team
is experienced with the most advanced diagnostic and treatment
approaches, including minimally invasive endoscopic and surgical
One focus of our effort to prevent esophageal cancer involves patients
at high risk for or known to have Barrett’s esophagus. Our approach is
guided by current best-practice guidelines and includes:
Screening for Barrett’s. People at high risk
for developing Barrett’s esophagus are screened with an upper
endoscopy evaluation to look for the presence of Barrett’s
tissue in the lining of the esophagus. Barrett’s tissue is
called intestinal metaplasia.
Monitoring (surveillance) for dysplasia. If
screening reveals Barrett’s tissue, patients are monitored with
periodic upper endoscopy evaluations to look for progression of
Barrett’s tissue to precancerous tissue, or dysplasia.
Treating dysplasia. If dysplasia is found, the
precancerous tissue can be removed endoscopically or surgically
to prevent advance to cancer. Endoscopic treatments include
mucosal resection, submucosal dissection, and radiofrequency
If esophageal cancer is detected, a thorough evaluation will be done to
determine appropriate treatment options. Treatment will be
individualized to the patient based on many factors, including the
extent and depth of the cancer and whether the cancer has spread to
local lymph nodes or other tissues. The following minimally invasive
treatment options are offered for appropriate patients with early-stage
(noninvasive) cancers confined to the surface layers of the esophagus:
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.