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NCCN Guidelines for Patients


Esophageal Cancer, Version 1.2016



endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD)

Removal of early tumors with a special knife that has been

guided down the throat.

endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)

A device guided down your throat to make pictures using

sound waves.


Tissue that lines the esophageal wall.


Removal of all or part of the esophagus.


Removal of the esophagus and some of the stomach.


The tube-shaped organ between the throat and stomach.

external beam radiation therapy (EBRT)

Radiation therapy received from a machine outside the body.

fine-needle aspiration (FNA)

Removal of a tissue sample with a small needle.

follow-up care

Health care that starts once treatment has ended and there

are no signs of cancer.


A doctor who’s an expert in digestive diseases.

gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Frequent back wash of stomach contents into the


esophagogastric junction (EGJ)

The area where the esophagus and stomach join.

general anesthesia

A controlled loss of wakefulness from drugs.


Instructions in cells for making and controlling cells.

genetic counselor

An expert in changes within genes that are related to


high-grade dysplasia (HGD)

A pre-cancerous change in cells.


Itchy, swollen, and red skin caused by the body ridding itself

of an invader.

human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)

A protein on the edge of a cell that send signals for the cell

to grow.

immunohistochemistry (IHC)

A lab test of cancer cells to find specific cell traits involved in

abnormal cell growth.

inferior pulmonary vein

A vein that returns blood from the lungs back to the heart.

in situ hybridization (ISH)

A lab test that shows the number of a specific gene.

intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT)

Treatment with radiation that uses small beams of different

strengths based on the thickness of the tissue.

integrative medicine doctor

An expert in mind-body treatments.


The tube-like organ between the stomach and anus.

jejunostomy tube (J-tube)

A feeding tube that is inserted though a cut into the intestine.

Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS)

A rating scale of one’s ability to do daily activities.

lamina propria

Connective tissue within the mucosa of the esophageal wall.

liquid nitrogen

Cooling of the chemical, nitrogen, to a liquid state.

local anesthesia

A controlled loss of feeling in a small area of the body from



A clear fluid containing white blood cells.

lymph node

A small group of special disease-fighting cells located

throughout the body.

medical history

All health events and medications taken to date.