Welcome to the

Esophageal Cancer Program

We combine compassionate care with advanced techniques to diagnose and treat esophageal cancer.

Our team of experts at the Esophageal Cancer Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer of the esophagus—the long, hollow tube that extends from the throat to the stomach.

Our team of gastroenterologists, surgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists work together to provide integrated care and treatment for esophageal cancer.

We work closely with gastroenterologists at NYU Langone’s Center for Esophageal Health to diagnose esophageal cancer, which often has symptoms similar to those of other common gastrointestinal conditions. Most people with esophageal cancer do not have any symptoms until the disease is at an advanced stage. Symptoms can include difficulty swallowing; gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD; vomiting; and unexplained weight loss. We also work with people who have Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition that puts them at risk for developing esophageal cancer.

Diagnostic tests for esophageal cancer may include an endoscopic ultrasound, biopsy, a PET/CT scan, or an MRI scan. People who receive a diagnosis for esophageal cancer are usually able to meet with our team of specialists within two to three days. If possible, we also provide same-day appointments for patients who may need to be seen more quickly.

Experts in Minimally Invasive Treatment Options

Our surgeons are highly experienced in minimally invasive robotic surgery to treat esophageal cancer. If the cancer is at an early stage, our specialists may use advanced techniques to perform an endoscopic submucosal dissection, in which small surgical tools are inserted through a thin, flexible tube that is passed through the nose or mouth into the esophagus to remove the tumor. They may also use ablation—a minimally invasive procedure that uses heat or extreme cold to destroy the cancer cells or as a palliative option to help reduce pain.

At a more advanced stage, you may receive chemotherapy and radiation, to help shrink the tumor before surgery. Our surgeons are skilled at performing an esophagectomy, removing part or most of the esophagus, using robotic surgery. We are one of the few centers in the country that combine robotic and laparoscopic approaches for tumor removal in the chest and abdomen, which allows us to perform surgery with only minor cuts or incisions. This leads to a shorter hospital stay, less pain and complications, and a faster recovery.

Coordinated Care and Support

Our cancer specialists meet regularly with other experts, including gastroenterologists, radiologists, nutritionists, and rehabilitation experts, to discuss your diagnosis and to design a personalized and comprehensive treatment plan that helps achieve the best outcomes.

We provide integrated care to support your wellbeing, both during and after your treatment. Because esophageal cancer can affect daily activities such as eating and swallowing, our team of nurses, nutritionists, social workers, and rehabilitation specialists from NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation provide support and guidance at every step. If needed, we also perform palliative procedures, including dilation and stenting to improve your ability to eat and ablation to reduce pain.

Research and Clinical Trials

Our physicians and researchers strive to develop improved treatments for esophageal cancer. We lead many clinical trials, which offer innovative treatments for those who may not benefit from standard treatment options.

Perlmutter Cancer Center

We provide advanced treatment for a variety of cancers and blood disorders, and are leaders in cancer research.